Awesome Snowslide Down Derby Hill

Around 1959 a group of adolescent friends and I gathered to create an olympic worthy snowslide down Derby Hill in Derby, Maine. As shown in the photo illustration we shoveled a series of snowbanks that curved left and then right and back again for 200 or 300 feet. This 6 foot deep channel was through the steep backyards of half a dozen homes on a 50 foot wide right of way butting up to the forest.

The slide was an engineering marvel considering we were all around 10 years old, and the alternating embankments made the ride perfect for flying saucers. While sitting cross-legged in the aluminum flying saucer, and hanging on to 2 plastic handles, it didn’t take long to pick up enough speed for a thrilling 2-3 minute ride.

In the early testing adjustments were required at the last few curves downhill because the speed and momentum exceeded the height limitations of the embankment. A few test subjects hit one of those last curves and went up and over the top cork-screwing through the air hanging on for dear life. After adding 2-3 feet of snow to the embankments we were good to go, and spent many days into the late evening enjoying this awesome snowslide.

Jim's handwritten signature


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