With the Pyeongchang Olympics in full swing now – and with ski-jumping taking center stage on the opening weekend – it might interest you to know that Brighton once had its own ski jump.
A huge one.
It wasn’t around for very long, but in its heyday, the Brighton Ski Jump drew thousands of people to town on winter weekends to watch the best ski jumpers in the world take flight.
The ski jump was located on the big hill on Flint Road, just outside downtown Brighton. It was built by the legendary Henry Hall of Ishpeming, one of the best ski jumpers in the world.
Hall’s five brothers were also ski jumpers, and in the late 1920s, they purchased the land on Flint Road with the intention of building a ski jump there.
It took them until 1935, when they formed the Michigan Ski Club, that the Brighton Ski Jump was built. There were actually two jumps there – a 130-foot-high jump that was the tallest in the nation at the time; and a smaller 50-foot slide next to it.
Brighton’s ski jumps were only around for a couple winters. There were some legendary competitions in both 1936 and 1937 at the Brighton Ski Jump, but then in 1937, the jumps were dismantled and moved to a new location in Rochester.
During their time in Brighton, though, it wasn’t just the big-time ski jumpers who got to enjoy them. Kids from Brighton would often haul their toboggans to the top of the smaller run and take a thrilling run down them. Wipeouts and crashes were commonplace, as you can imagine.