Hemlock – Boyne Mountain, MI

This unique lift utilizes some components from the original chairlifts in Sun Valley.
Bottom station with tensioning.
The lift has been upgraded over time with Riblet and other components.
Drive station building up top.
View down from the summit.
Unloading area and top shack.
Steep upper lift line.
Looking up the face.
Lower towers in the village.

8 thoughts on “Hemlock – Boyne Mountain, MI

  1. afski722 January 31, 2020 / 11:58 pm

    This lift retains parts from the worlds first chairlift originally from Sun Valley installed at Boyne Mountain in 1947. About all thats original is likely some of the structural elements in the upper and lower stations. Heavily modified by Riblet over the years.


    • Vintage Chairlifts February 9, 2020 / 1:07 am

      Not the world’s first chairlift, though close.

      The first was installed on Proctor Mountain in Sun Valley in 1936, along with another on Dollar Mountain the same year.

      The original Dollar Mountain lift was replaced a few years later by a more advanced single chairlift. This second chairlift is the one that Everett Kircher bought and moved to Boyne in the late 40s.


      • Mountaineer September 20, 2020 / 4:41 am

        Unfortunately that’s not correct. Three lifts were installed in 1936, two single chairs and a J-bar. The J-bar was moved to Ruud Mtn. a year later and was converted to a chairlift. The first single chair from Dollar was replaced by the second generation from American Steel & Wire. That first lift was sold to Boyne not the second one. The other first chairlift from Proctor Mtn. was relocated to Bald Mtn. to what we today know as Christmas (two single chairs ran in parallel until the one from Proctor was replaced by a Riblet double between 1955 and 1959).


        • Vintage Chairlifts September 25, 2020 / 10:23 am

          Interesting! The history I’ve been able to track down of Sun Valley is patchy.

          Did you get this info from a book or museum?

          Also, does anyone know what year Boyne has this lift converted to a double?


        • Mountaineer September 27, 2020 / 10:45 am

          @Vintage Chairlifts:
          I got the information from research at the community library in Ketchum, ID. They have an extensive collection about the history of Sun Valley and publish many of the old photographs here: https://rhd.thecommunitylibrary.org (search for F 04632 to see the Dollar lift that was sold to Boyne).
          Hemlock was most likely converted to a double before it became a Riblet. Early photos at Boyne’s lodge do already show that lift as a double with wooden poles. I’m currently trying to find out when exactly that happened.


        • MOUNTAINEER October 15, 2020 / 1:36 am

          According to Boyne the lift was first upgraded to a double around 1952.


  2. Spartyski January 14, 2021 / 6:01 pm

    It was converted to a double not long after it was first installed. I am curious as to when it had the Riblet towers and chairs installed. The original double configuration had different chairs then what it currently has. The tower heads indicate that the major Riblet overhaul was from the mid 60’s to late 70’s but I have never been able figure out the exact year and if the towers and chairs were new or used. Boyne has a way of digging up used Riblet components whenever they need to.


    • Mountaineer January 17, 2021 / 4:54 am

      A picture from the K-2 Cup in Feb 1972 shows Hemlock with Riblet towers and chairs.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s