Our family has a very truly unique and special item to offer for sale – our Legendary Great-Great-Uncle Shorty Lovelace’s pair of Skis.
My name is Tracy Harris, and I am a Yamaha Performing Artist & Clinician; so you know I am a real person and that this is not a hoax, my music website is at http://www.tracyharrisflute.com – I am a professional flutist. My sister-in-law, concert pianist Svetlana Harris is holding the skis, and my Grandmother happens to be Ellen Lovelace-Hill – the niece of Shorty Lovelace, the legendary back country skier and trapper for whom the Shorty Lovelace Historic District in Kings Canyon National Park, California, is named.
Famed skiing author Lou Dawson has written of Shorty as the 'father of California backcountry skiing.' Shorty travelled thousands of miles, and built over 36 trapper's cabins spaced one day's ski apart. Lou Dawson calls his low-roofed cabins 'true precursors to modern ski huts'. Shorty's cabins stretch all across the future Kings Canyon National Park, and he would ski every canyon using the high ridges to set and check his traplines until 1959.
About Shorty Lovelace the National Park Service states on its website:
"Shorty's significance in the field of exploration/settlement results from the fact that he was the first and only Caucasian ever to reside in the upper Kings Canyon region on a long-term, year-round basis. Since Shorty's departure this region of approximately 200 square miles has remained uninhabited except for summer visitors. During the nineteenth century, fur trapping was a major western industry, providing the impetus for the exploration of much of the West. By the early twentieth century, the full-time fur trapper had been relegated to isolated, back-water regions. Shorty Lovelace was one of these last remnants of the western fur trade, trapping in the remote reaches of Kings Canyon."
The NPS document also notes that although the full extent of Shorty's cabin system is not known, sufficient cabins and identified sites remained to document in rare detail the operative patterns of possibly the last surviving alpine fur trapping circuit remaining within the national park system.
Shorty was perhaps the last true mountain man, a part of the fabric of American history. Among Shorty’s artifacts my grandmother gathered from his cabin were his beautiful pair of wood skis. They have Attenhofer Alpina Bindings and are unmarked except for numbers 6 and 930 engraved into them.
The family also has the tools with which Shorty built his cabins, some of which still survive in the national park. We were hoping to keep the artifiacts together and find them a home in a museum, but sadly Family Medical issues force us to part with them – serious interested parties wishing more information and requiring larger photos may write to me at:
Edited by Tracy - 12/21/09 at 2:45pm