The Early Years-Buck Hills

Celebrating more than 50 years of fun, family-owned Crystal Mountain owes its establishment to a man by the name of Ward Creech and a group of dedicated local citizens, each of whom had an immense passion for skiing. And it was this passion led to the development of Buck Hills ski area in Michigan's Benzie County.

On Mother's Day in 1955, Creech set out to find the best location for a local ski area. After much searching, Creech selected the range of hills located near the village of Thompsonville - the Buck Hills Range.

Through their combined efforts Buck Hills ski area was established, and the first skiers took to the new slopes in December of 1956. It was truly a group effort, as almost everyone in the community assisted in one way or another - from clearing the mountain of forest growth to constructing the warming hut. One gang of volunteers would even groom the slopes by sidestepping in their skis up and down the slopes to pack the snow. In its early years, Buck Hills featured two rope tows and a small warming hut.