You can call Carroll Reed many things—
dynamic, a driving force, entrepreneurial, visionary, humble, unassuming. Yes, as strange as it may be, all of these traits were demonstrated in one person.
Although many people claim to be the main reason for the popularity of skiing in New Hampshire, after a great deal of research, I give much of the credit, to Carroll Reed. In 2002 he was inducted into U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame, and rightly so.
Carroll’s passion for skiing led him during the winter of 1934 to find himself on the Wildcat Ski Trail in Jackson, New Hampshire. At the age of 29, he was involved in a skiing accident that left him paralyzed. After five months in the hospital, he was able to walk again. This tragedy, was to Carroll a blessing, as during his plentiful reading time, he learned about the famous Hannes Schneider Ski School in St. Anton Austria, and became determined to create a ski school in Jackson (Eastern Slope Region Ski School). This was during the days when skiing in New Hampshire was a rustic experience.
Also in 1936 he was hired to run Saks Fifth Avenue’s ski store in Jackson, New Hampshire. A year later when Saks folded, he took over their inventory and opened up his own store, in the same location, using his own name.
It wasn’t easy to convince the local businesses to invest in the ski school, nor was it a cinch to convince the inns and hotels in the area to remain open during the winter months. The first year of his attempt, there was almost no snow. His vision and business sense was stronger than his disappointment in the weather. He forged ahead, making alliances with powerful people, such as financier Harvey Dow Gibson, (who developed Mt. Cranmore, and purchased the Eastern Slope Inn) and Dr. Harold Shedd.
In 1937 Beno Rybizka a famous skiing instructor, ran the first organized skiing in the Mount Washington Valley. He had come from the Hannes Schneider Ski School of St. Anton-am-Arlberg, Austria to start Carroll Reed’s, headquartered in the Wildcat Tavern in Jackson Village.
For decades, the Carroll Reed Shop was a landmark for the latest in skiwear and equipment. In 1969 Carroll retired, and sold his business to CML Group, Inc., who in 1990 sold its Carroll Reed women’s apparel subsidiary (which by then consisted of a mail-order business, two stores and several mountain shops) to Swire Pacific, Ltd., a Hong Kong-based conglomerate. Mr. Reed also helped found the Conway Scenic Railroad, a steam excursion railroad in North Conway.
According to a biography written by Tom Eastman, “the lack of recognition due Reed for his skiing contributions is partly attributable to Carroll’s own modesty.” One of Carroll’s former employees, and well known area skier, Dick May (1915-1999) of Jackson NH, said that Reed’s amazing business ability as well as his “ability to harness the support of influential individuals in the community” were primary reasons for local skiing becoming so successful.
Retro Ski: Carroll Reed
Stowe Reporter: Its Odd How Accidents Inspired Organizations
*GENEALOGY OF CARROLL REED*
William Reed, was b abt 1690 in Ireland, and d. 11 Aug 1773 in Topsham ME. He is buried in the First Parish Church Burying Ground in Topsham ME. He married Mary –. She was b abt 1692. The early settlers in Topsham, and perhaps in Brunswick too, used to trade somewhat at Richmond Fort. From an account-book of Judge Minot, of Brunswick, who was stationed at that fort in 1732 and subsequently, the following statements are taken:-In 1732, William Reed, of Topsham, was charged with 30 lbs. pork @ 1s. 3d.; bread, 2s; rum, 5s.; “phlip,” 1s. 2d. Along with his sons, he signed, in 1764,the petition for the incorporation of the town. In 1764, William Reed, of Topsham, was licensed by the same court to sell tea. In 1784 William Reed, Ezekiel Thompson, and John Rogers were chosen a Committee of Correspondence and Safety.
Children of William & Mary Reed:
1. John Reed, b. 1719 in Ireland; he m1) Hannah Savage; m2) Susanna Stanwood, had several children.
2. Mary Reed, b. abt 1723; m. 30 Dec 1743 to David Stanwood
3. Elizabeth Reed, b. abt 1729; m. 7 Jan 1749 to William Stanwood
4. +William Reed Jr. b 30 Aug 1730 in Ireland
5. Charity Reed, b. abt 1733; m. abt 17 Dec 1752 in Topsham ME to James Mustard, had several ch.
6. Lieut. David Reed, b. abt 1737 in Topsham, ME; m. abt 2 June 1759 in Georgetown Maine to Diantha “Anna” Rogers, had several children.
William Reed, of Topsham Maine, son of William & Mary Reed of Ireland, was born 30 Aug 1730 in Ireland. [One source states he was born in Ireland just prior to getting on the boat] He died 10 Nov 1808 in Topsham ME and is buried in the First Parish Burying Ground of Topsham ME. He was selectman of Tospham for 1771 and was in Captain Adam Hunter’s Company and “Alarm” list for 1757. He owned land in the east end of Topsham Maine in 1752. He was a sergeant in William Lithgow’s company. In 1764 he signed the petition as William Reed Jr. for the incorporation of the town. His tombstone states: “In memory of Mr. William Reed, who died Nov. 10, 1808 at age 78. In memory of Mrs. Mary Reed, wife of Mr. William Reed who died Oct 1800, aged 68 years. He married abt 8 Sep 1754 in Tospham Maine to Mary Dunning. She was b 18 Apr 1733 in Brunswick, Cumberland Co ME.
Children of William & Mary (Dunning) Reed:
1. James Reed, b. 3 July 1757, d. 19 July 1806
2. William Reed, b. 29 Aug 1759 in Topsham, ME, died at sea during his youth
3. +John Reed, b. 24 March 1762 in Topsham, ME; m. James or William Hunter
4. Martha Reed, b. 20 June 1764 in Clinton ME; m. 26 July 1763 in Clinton ME to William James Hunter
5. Robert Reed, b. 5 Dec 1770; m. Hannah House, had children
6. David Thomas Reed, b. 10 Dec 1772 in Topsham ME; m. Marcia Johnson
7. David Reed, b 17 Aug 1775, m. Elizabeth Randall, had ch.
John Reed, son of William & Mary (Dunning) Reed of Topsham ME, was b. 24 March 1762 in Topsham, Sagadahoc Co ME and d. 24 March 1832 in Harpswell, Cumberland Co ME. He is buried in the Old Center Cemetery, Harpswell ME. He married 15 Sep 1785 in Harpswell ME to Lettice H. Orr. She b. May 1763 in Orrs Island, Harspwell ME, dau of Joseph & Lettice (Elliott) Orr.
Children of John & Lettice H. (Orr) Reed:
1. Joseph Orr Reed, b. 5 July 1786 in Harpswell ME; m. Nancy Stover, had ch.
2. Capt. William Reed, b. 17 Sep 1788 in Harpswell ME, d. 28 June 1817
3. Mary Reed, b. 9 Nov 1790 in Harpswell ME; m. Samuel Skolfield
4. Lettice Reed, b. 7 March 1792 in Harpswell ME; m1) Simeon Orr; m2) David Stover
5. John Reed, b. 13 July 1795 in Harpswell ME; m. Alice Alexander
6. Charles Reed, b. 13 Aug 1797 in Harpswell ME; m. Eliza Pennell, had ch.
7. Susannah Reed, b. 3 Aug 1807 in Harpswell ME, d. 11 Feb 1869
8. +Arthur Reed, b. 4 March 1810 in Orrs Island, Harpswell ME
Arthur Reed, son of John III & Lettice H. (Orr) Reed, was b. 4 March 1810 on Orr’s Island, Harpswell, Cumberland Co ME and d. 28 Nov 1879. He is buried at Old Center Cemtery, Harpswell, Cumberland Co ME. He married abt 7 Sep 1833 to Elizabeth B. Jacobs, dau of Elias & Abigail (Parker) Jacobs. She b. 27 Oct 1807 in Portland, Cumberland Co ME and d. 25 March 1899 in Bowdoinham, Sagadahoc, Maine. She is buried in the Old Center Cemetery, Harpswell ME.
1870 United States Federal Census > Maine > Cumberland > Harpswell
Reed, Arthur 60 M W Farmer 2000/600 Maine
Reed, Eliza B. 62 F W Keeping House Maine
Reed, Mary F. 17 F W at home Maine
Reed, Elias 27 M W Shipmaster 600 Maine
Reed, Mary M. 26 F W Maine
Reed, Frank P. 1 M W Maine
Children of Arthur & Elizabeth B. (Jacobs) Reed:
1. Abigail J. Reed, b. 22 Aug 1835 in Orrs Island, Harpswell, Cumberland Co ME; m. John D. Pennell, had children.
2. Caroline Reed, b. 25 Dec 1838 in Harpswell ME; d. 17 March 1855 in Harpswell ME
3. +Elias Reed, b. 11 June 1843 in Harpswell ME
4. Mary F. Reed, b. 7 Jan 1853 in Harpswell ME; m. Edwin F. Oliver, had children.
Elias J. Reed, son of Arthur & Elizabeth B. (Jacobs) Reed, was b. 11 June 1843 in Harpswell, Cumberland County, ME. He married abt 15 May 1867 in Harpswell, ME to Mary Merritt Purinton. She b. 30 Aug 1843 in Harpswell, Cumberland Co ME, dau of Stephen & Theresa Curtis (Chapman) Purinton. She probably died before 1900, as the 1900 census of Bowdoinham ME shows Elias having married abt 1894 to Jane M.Barker, dau of Orin & Jane (Small) Barker. She b April 1862 in Maine, and they had no children together. The 1905 Directory of Bodoin ME shows Elias Reed on Bath Road in Bowdoinham ME. He was a sea captain.
1880 United States Federal Census > Maine > Sagadahoc > Bowdoinham > District 147
Reed, Elias W M 37 Farming ME ME ME
Reed, May M. W F 36 wife keeping House ME ME ME
Reed, Frank P. W M 11 son ME
Reed, Caroline W F 9 dau ME
Reed, Alta W F 3 dau ME
Reed, Elizabeth W F 71/2 mother ME
Britt, Annie W F 32 servant
Allen, Howard W M 19 laborer
1900 United States Federal Census > Maine > Sagadahoc > Bowdoinham > District 212
Reed, Elias J. Head M W June 1843 56 married 6 yrs ME ME ME farmer
Reed, Jane M. wife W F Apr 1862 38 married 6 yrs 0 ch 0 living ME ME Canada-Eng
McDonald, James farm laborer W M Dec 1876 23 single ME Can-Eng Can-Eng
Children of Elias J. & Mary M. (Purington) Reed:
1.+Frank P. Reed, b abt 1869 in Orrs Island, ME
2. Caroline Reed, b. Dec 1872 in ME; m. 21 Dec 1896 to Abner Anderson Badger, son of James D. & Clementine (Quimby) Badger of Rangeley ME. He b. 22 June 1862 in Maine, and died 24 March 1945 in Los Angeles California . In 1900 living in Walpole, Norfolk Co., MA, he being the superintendent of schools. In 1920 living in Long Branch, Monmouth Co NJ, along with sons Hartley P. (age 18) and Reed (age 9). Abner is the principal of a public school. In 1930 living in Los Angeles California, with son Anderson R[eed], age 19, b NJ. Abner is a teacher in the public school.
3. Alta Reed, b. 22 Apr 1877 in Harpswell, Cumberland Co ME; in 1910 living in Boston MA, a teacher; in 1930 living in Brunswick ME, single, a librarian. A 1947 newspaper article in the Portland Maine “Press Herald” reports on her giving an informal talk on her experiences while teaching in the Kentucky mountains. She was on the board of the Pejepsoct Historical Society. In 1949 she was a “Gray Lady.”
Frank Purington Reed, son of Elias J. & Mary M. (Purington) Reed, b. abt 1869 in Orrs Island, Harpswell, Maine. He married about 1895 to Bertha L. Fay, dau of Charles & Henrietta J. Fay She b. abt 1872 in Chester Massachusetts. In 1920 living in Boston, MA. Frank was the superintendent of a department store.
1920 United States Federal Census > Massachusetts > Suffolk > Boston Ward 23 > District 548 [1910 same place, retail mfg for occupation] [m abt 1895]
Reed, Frank P. Head M W 51 married Maine Maine Maine superintendent dept store [b abt 1869]
Reed, Bertha F. wife F W 48 married MA MA Maine
Reed, Howard F. son M W 23 single MA Maine MA
Reed, Carroll P. son W M 14 single MA Maine MA
Children of Frank P. & Bertha (Fay) Reed:
1. Howard Fay Reed, b. 14 Aug 1896 in Dorchester MA, and d. Oct 1975 in MA; In 1918 worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
2. +Carroll Purinton Reed, b. 9 Oct 1905 in West Roxbury MA.
Carroll Purinton Reed, son of Frank Purinton & Bertha (Fay) Reed, was b. 9 October 1905 in Boston, Massachusetts and d. 29 Jan 1995, prob. North Conway, Carroll Co NH. He married Dec 1937 to Katharine “Kaye” Damon. She was born 30 July 1916 in Malden MA, dau of Harry Franklin & Martha Frances (Shove) Damon. She died 1 June 1999 in Kearsarge, NH (see her obituary below). They resided in Jackson NH until 1941 when they moved to Kearsarge NH.
Obituary: Katharine Damon Reed,
Katharine Damon Reed, 82, died peacefully on June 20, 1999 at her home in Kearsarge after a brief illness. Born at home in Malden, Mass., on July 30, 1916, “Kay” was the second of five children born to Frances Shove Damon and Harry F. Damon. Kay graduated from Abbot Academy in 1933 and the Katharine Gibbs School in Boston. In 1936 she came to the Eastern Slope region towork for Carroll Reed, founder and director of the Eastern Slope Ski School in Jackson. Kay was returning to an area she had grown to love in her early years, as her family had spent many winters at the Russell Cottages in Kearsarge, and many summers in Tamworth at the family farm. Kay and Carroll were married in December, 1937 and lived in Jackson until relocating to their Kearsarge home in 1941. They had been married for 57 years at the time of Carroll’s death in 1995.
In addition to raising a family, Kay worked with her husband at Carroll Reed Ski Shops, assuming many different roles as the business expanded, including working with dozens of women in the valley who designed and knitted magnificent sweaters for the business. She had a keen business mind and instinctive sense of timing and, with Carroll’s flair for leadership, they made Carroll Reed’s an international name. A significant part of their success was the Carroll Reed catalog, which she directed. She pioneered the first all-color catalog in the mail order business, introducing names like Bogner, Lanz and Head, and products such as Icelandic woolens, Fair Isle sweaters, plaid pants for men, and mink-lined jock straps to hundreds of thousands of eager customers, many of whom were as curious about her flair and fun as they were about their new, pace-setting look and products. Kay was also admired for her innovative ability to generate confidence, respect and loyalty among those who worked with her. In 1969 they sold the ski shops and began wintering in Boca Grande, Florida, always looking forward to spring and the return to their beloved mountains. Kay cared deeply about the region and community. Throughout her more than 60 years in the valley, she was actively involved in many issues: education, the introduction of hot lunch programs, the bypass, valley beautification. During World War II she was a nurses aid and a member of the Red Cross, and later became the first woman on the Conway School Board, was a member of the Eastern Slope Choral Society, and a co-founder of the valley’s first investment club for women. In New Hamsphire and Florida, she worked behind the scenes on behalf of organizations, projects and people, especially other cancer and Crohn’s Disease survivors. More than anything, Kay enjoyed her family, friends, gardens and cooking.Her family includes her two brothers and one sister, Herbert Damon of New London, Stephen Damon of Tamworth, and Patricia Niswander of Concord; her daughters, Damon “Pokey” Reed of Williamstown, Mass., and Stefi Markham Hastings of Fryeburg, Maine; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by a brother, Harry F. Damon Jr. and her eldest daughter, Carol Reed Karnopp. A service in celebration of Katharine’s life will be held Sunday, June 27 at Christ Church Episcopal, Pine Street, North Conway, at 1:30 p.m. followed by an informal gathering at the family home in Kearsarge, immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Kay’s memory may be made to Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care Services of Northern Carroll County, P.O. Box 432, North Conway, 03860, or the Pequawket Foundation, “The Cleaner-Greener Project,” P.O. Box 1237, North Conway, or your favorite charity. Arrangements are by the Furber and White Funeral Home in North Conway.
Children of Carroll P. & Kaye (Damon) Reed:
1. Carol Shove Reed, b. 2 Aug 1938 in Boston MA, d. Apr 1985; m. Aug 1984 in Sacramento California to M. Donald Shealor. He d. Apr 1985 in California. She married 2nd) Dean Charles Karnopp. Had ch (Karnopp): Dean Charles and Stefan Paul.
2. Damon Reed, m Donald Watt Gardner Jr. Children (Gardner): Rebecca Damon and Elizabeth Seward. Resided Williamstown, MA [This branch of the family has a blog]
3. Stephanie “Stefi” Reed, m1) James M. Markham. He b. 7 March 1943 in Washington DC and d. 9 Aug 1989 in Paris, France. Children (Markham): Katharine Rix, and Samuel Reed. she m2nd) Peter G. Hastings, resided Fryeburg, Maine.
[Editor’s Notes: Story and links updated January 2014, and December 2015]