Posted by Leigh Hewer on Aug 11, 2020
Keith Johnston (right) introduced Russell Haubrich (left) as his speaker. Russell and Keith have known each other for over 60 years (they are cousins). Keith’s family moved to Calgary from Toronto in 1953, and the family would visit the Haubrich family farm in Saskatchewan during the summer months. After moving to Texas in 1960, Keith returned to Saskatchewan and spent the summer of 1966 with Russell and his family.   Keith and Russell became re-acquainted when Keith and his daughter would visit Silver Star Mountain for winter skiing. Russell is the longest residing permanent resident of Silver Star Mountain having moved there in 1983. Russell gave an interesting talk on the history or Silver Star Mountain Resort from its inception, growth challenges to the present day detailing some of the interesting stories of the various ownership groups over the years.
Silver Star Sports was started by Russ Postill, Mike Lattey, Bill Attridge, Joe Peters, John Kassa, Joyce Balestra and John Hindle in 1956-1957. Although Silver Star Mountain is located in a Class A Provincial park where no development is permitted, this group persevered and received approval from the Province of BC to build a ski hill within the park in the summer of 1957.  Modest beginnings with two rope-tow lifts and an A-frame day lodge were built in 1958. In 1959 a poma lift was installed replacing the rope tow. In 1964 new t-bars were installed replacing the slower rope tow; in 1965 a second A-frame structure was added to the day lodge. In 1967 and 1968 the Summit and Yellow Chairs (6,000 feet) were installed, making Silver Star Mountain one of the largest ski areas in Canada. A good portion of the village construction is attributed to local builder Pete Pasechnik.
In 1981 Silver Star Sports was purchased by Norm Crerar, Charlie Locke, John Hindle, Rob Marshall and John Gow and became Silver Star Mountain Resorts Ltd (SSMR). The first Nordic trails were also cleared. In 1983 the Putnam Station Hotel is built by Russell Haubrich and Shella Ledingham, it is Silver Star's first on hill hotel (Russell sold the hotel that became the Bulldog) which Russell managed for the foreign owners for a year after the purchase.
From 1984-1990 many new hotels and amenities are built on the hill. In 1990 the Silver Queen chair was installed and replaced by a doppelmayr quad chair, 1991 the original Putnam Creek and Vance Creek express quads were built and opened up extensive amounts of new terrain. In 2001 the Schumann family, owners of Big White Ski Resort since 1985, reached an agreement in principle with the Honourable Judd Buchanan the then major shareholder of SSMR on the purchase of the majority of the assets of SSMR. In 2002 SSMR invested heavily in new chair lifts and opened up new terrain that was followed by further expansion in 2005/06 to open up the Silver Woods ski area. 2005 was also the expansion of the Silver Star Bike Park.  Jane Cann (daughter of Des Schumann) had owned Silver Star since 2002.  She became president and 100% owner in 2012. In December 2019 the resort was sold to POWDR, an adventure lifestyle company based out of Park City Utah so the next chapter begins.