It might be said that Jackrabbit Johannsen’s lifetime was, in essence, two lifetimes, the first being the 55 year period from 1875 - 1930, and the second of 55 years from 1931 until his death at the age of 111 years in January, 1987. A long serving technical adviser to the Canadian Amateur Ski Association (CASA), his contribution of many decades to the development of skiing and its influence on the tourist industry in both in Canada, the Laurentian region of Quebec, and the eastern United States is incalculable.
A small comfortable house in Piedmont, Quebec was converted to the Jackrabbit Laurentian Museum. It was a house dedicated to the life and memory of a unique man, a man who lived through eleven decades, Herman Smith Johnannsen, better known throughout the world of skiing as “Jackrabbit Johannsen”. Above the door was a battered ski, a gift to him from the Norwegian Ski Museum, similar in type he had worn as a boy in his native Norway in the late 19thC with a toe and heel strap made of twisted willow. It symbolized his lifelong passion for skiing and his many contributions to the promotion and development of the sport.
Over the years beginning in the 1930s, he cut through rugged bush to establish hundreds of miles of cross country ski trails in Quebec’s Laurentian Mountain region to link the then isolated communities. Later he would ski up to 1800 kms in a season to maintain those same trails. As his eldest daughter commented’ “His trails now serve as the basis of scores of resorts in Canada and the United States that proudly claim a connection with the legendary Jackrabbit.” (Alice E Johannsen, 1993, The Legendary Jackrabbit Johannsen, (Montreal & Kingston: McGill & Queen’s University Press), 4)... ['CLICK' BELOW TO READ FULL BIOGRAPHY]
Active Period: 1930 - 1987
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