Peter Sand Ecker

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Peter Sand Ecker

Birthdate: (69)
Birthplace: Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Death: 06, 1967 (68)
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States
Immediate Family:

Husband of Gudrun Kristine Ecker
Father of Raymond Ecker; Harold Ecker and Norma Ecker Larrabee

Occupation: Owner Ecker's Photographic Studio
Managed by: Judyth Christensen Perry
Last Updated:

About Peter Sand Ecker

'Article by Bea Mays from Summit County History'

"In the 1930s and 1940s international recognition came to Utah through tournaments at Ecker Hill, the ski jumpers who awed the crowds, and their record flights through the mountain air. Although competitive ski jumping in Utah predates the large jump on Rasmussen ranch in Parley's Park, it was in 1930 that the efforts of Peter Ecker and Martinius "Mark" Strand began to shape ski jumping in Utah. Avid skiers, Ecker and Strand followed ski events in the Mid-West, the East, and in Europe and wanted to bring professional jumping to Utah.

Their ski-tournament-sponsoring Utah Ski Club grew out of the Norwegian-American Athletic Club. Strand, a promoter, and Ecker obtained sanction by the American Ski Association for professional jumping on the relocated jump at Rasmussen ranch, a necessary step for national and international professionals, many of whom were Scandinavian, to come to the new hill. On March 2, 1930, Utah Governor George Dern opened the State Tournament with praise for Utah Ski Club and named the hill for the president of the club, Peter Ecker. Alf Engen, a twenty-year-old Norwegian who had been in the U.S. less than a year, was among the 14 professionals slated to compete. Engen did not place well (he fell), but his 164 foot jump was by far the longest that day. Engen went on to set many records, both at Ecker Hill and elsewhere, while crowds grew from 2,000, to 5,000, to 7,000, to over 8,000. Through the continuing efforts of Strand, Ecker, and later S. Joseph Quinny, Ecker Hill became the site of national tournaments from 1930 to 1949, and was on the international ski tour.

Amidst growing public interest in participatory alpine skiing, promoters briefly attempted to revive jumping at Ecker Hill in the late 1960s. After that, the historic jump site located within Pinebrook Estates fell into disrepair. The Pinebrook Homeowners Association, the Summit County Historical Society, and the Park City Historical Society have joined forces to refurbish the 1986 monument at Pinebrook."

'Article by; Roger Roper From the Utah History Encyclopedia edited by Allan Kent Powell published by The University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City

Utah History Encyclopedia website'

"HISTORY OF ECKER HILL"

"In the late fall of 1928, members of the fledgling Utah Ski Club set about establishing a ski jumping facility near Parley's Summit. The club consisted primarily of young Norwegian-Americans who were interested in promoting cross country skiing and ski jumping. They completed the jump by Christmas Day 1928 and hosted the first ski jumping tournament on the hill in February 1929. The hill proved to be very suitable and in 1930 was officially named Ecker Hill by Utah Governor George Dern in honor of Peter Ecker, acting president of the Utah Ski Club.

Ecker Hill overshadowed the other major ski jumping hill established in Utah at that time, Becker Hill in Ogden Canyon. Named for Gus Becker, a local brewer and sports promoter, Becker Hill hosted a number of important jumping events during the 1930s. After 1933, however, it was no longer used for major competitions. A number of smaller jumps for amateurs and juniors were also built at various locations throughout the state at that time.

During the 1930s and 1940s Ecker Hill was one of a handful of world-class ski jumps in the United States. National meets were held regularly on the hill, and several world records were set there. Large crowds of up to 9,000 people gathered to watch the events. During the early years at Ecker Hill most of the headlines were garnered by skiers from the Professional Ski Jumpers of America, a fifteen member group that competed for prize money at various locations throughout the country.

Alf Engen is perhaps the best known of the early professional jumpers. He jumped world record distances several times during the 1930s, and each year from 1931 to 1935 he was named National Professional Jumping Champion. His top mark at Ecker Hill was a 281-foot record setting jump in 1934. Other world class skiers who jumped at Ecker Hill included the two-time Olympic champion from Norway Sigmund Ruud, as well as Sig Ulland, Gorden Wren. Sverre Engen, Art Devlin, and 1948 Olympic champion Peter Hugsted.

After the 1949 National Championships, use of Ecker Hill for ski jumping competitions declined rapidly. Longer and better designed hills were being constructed in both U.S. and Europe, replacing smaller hills such as Ecker. By the 1940s skiers were already coming close to landing on the flat at Ecker Hill with jumps of almost 300 feet. Improved ski jumping equipment and techniques rendered the hill obsolete for world-class events by the 1950s.

The decline in the popularity of ski jumping as a spectator sport also contributed to the demise of Ecker Hill. Ski enthusiasts who had previously been content to simply watch ski jumping were now more interested in the participatory sport of downhill skiing. Local resorts such as Brighton, Alta, and Park City began their rapid growth during the 1950s. Ecker Hill was last used around 1960. In recognition of its significance, the site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986."

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Peter Sand Ecker's Timeline

1898
March 25, 1898
Oslo, Oslo, Norway
1925
March 7, 1925
Age 26
Salt Lake City, Utah
1967
6, 1967
Age 68
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, United States
10, 1967
Age 69
2015
2015
Age 69
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