Dave Carter has over 40 years experience cross country skiing. He started on the Gould Academy X-C ski team, with noted coach, Paul Kailey, and went on to compete on the U. Maine X-C ski team. Paul Kailey eventually hired Dave to start the Sunday River Ski Touring Center. He was one of 4 Mainers who helped start the Jackson Ski Touring Center, in Jackson, NH.
"We have excellent snow here," says Dave. "The conditions here are pretty much perfect ." He's also working to promote more back-country skiing. "If you're an alpine skier, you'll like our hills. We have elevation," he says. "But if you're not, we have flat, too."
Dave's a farm boy, and serious x-c skier. He says Anne was the first girlfriend who didn't leave after he took her cross country skiing. They skied and bushwacked almost 10 miles uphill and back. It was her first time on skis. They have 3 daughters who help in the business as well. "They cross country skied the day after they walked," Dave says. They also have 2 granddaughters, who will be the 8th generation of Carters in the area.
They''ve been focused on keeping their business green, since before it was a popular phrase. The lodge is built of wood which was cut on their land by the Carter brothers, and custom milled. All the windows and doors were furnished by their cousin (at Western Maine Supply). The lodge was economically designed by Dave. The rental cabins are "off-grid". Even the new trail groomer has been optimized so that it uses 1/6 the amount of fuel that the old groomer used, to reduce the carbon footprint. The lodge and cabins are also heated with wood that comes from the property. The wax room at the lodge is a passive-solar greenhouse.
The Carter Family homestead was founded by Dr. Timothy Carter in the 1790's. He was the first physician in Western Maine. Dr. Moses Mason was his apprentice. He built the brick farmhouse in 1795. This was the original settlement, and center of Bethel, until 1877. Middle Intervale Church was the first church in Bethel, and the general store was behind the church in what is now a workshed.
David's great-great grandfather was the head surveyor for the Brown Company. His uncle John Carter was the rep. who controlled all the Brown Company land in Canada. From his travels in the Canadian wilderness, he brought back bearskins, birchbark canoes, snowshoes, and all kinds of interesting artifacts. A photograph of the Brown Company employees is proudly displayed in the dining room at the lodge.
Dave's dad was a scaler for the Brown Company. In those days logging camps were set up for the entire winter, so he was away for months at a time. Dave says, "Mother wanted him out of the woods, so he started the dairy farm in the 1940's." In the early 1970's the farm was sold to Tim Carter, named after Dr. Timothy Carter. The farm is now under a conservation easement with Mahoosuc Land Trust, and will remain a working farm, never to be developed.