Experiencing Interruptions?

The Town that Moved a Mountain (and then forgot they did it)

There's only one mountain in Jay, Maine, but most of the locals don't know its name, much less its curious history. If you do mention its name -- Spruce Mountain -- they'll direct you to a cow pasture across the river. A quirky tale of memories lost, The Town that Moved a Mountain tells the story of a small group of ski enthusiasts who built a ski area and then moved it after two seasons to a new location, and how they brought together a community and made an impact that carries on to this day.

Long description:
In the late 1950s a group of ski enthusiasts in Maine built a ski area on Spruce Mountain in North Jay -- they cleared trails, bought and installed a rope tow, built a warm-up hut, and sold tickets. It was a great little slope, and lots of people came to ski, but it turned out that access to the area was difficult, so after two short seasons they decided to move the entire operation to a hilly cow pasture, closer to town. They even moved the name of the area -- Spruce Mountain in North Jay was still Spruce Mountain, but the new ski area was also called Spruce Mountain. Interestingly, today most people in the towns of Livermore Falls and Jay don't know that the original Spruce Mountain exists, even though it's the only actual mountain in the two towns. //// More than just a quirky tale of memories lost, The Town that Moved a Mountain is a story of how three rope tows and the dedication of a group of volunteers brought together a community and made a positive impact that carries on to this day.

Short description:
It took a lot of effort to move this Maine mountain, but it led to a local ski revolution that benefited the entire community ... and resulted in an odd lapse in memory.

Note: There are two versions of this film. The original, longer version (53:36) and the one that is posted above (45:57). Contact me at rgroleau@rcn.com if you'd like to view the longer version.

  • Rick Groleau
    Go Around Again, Despair and the Salt Air
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    53 minutes 35 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 6, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    800 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Emerge Film Festival
    Lewiston, Maine
    United States
    April 28, 2017
    World Premiere
  • Maine Outdoor Film Festival
    Rangeley, Maine; Bethel, Maine; Portland, Maine
    United States
    September 1, 2017
    Best Film of Festival; Best Feature
  • Sanford International Film Festival
    Sanford, Maine
    United States
    October 26, 2017
  • Adirondack Film Festial
    Glens Falls, NY
    United States
    October 20, 2017
Distribution Information
  • Maine Outdoor Film Festival
Director Biography - Rick Groleau

Rick Groleau is a multimedia producer who has spent most of his career at WGBH (Bostons' public television station), where he worked as a writer, web producer, project manager, and editor (of content, not film or video). He has written, storyboarded, and produced over 100 interactive features for Nova, the American Experience, This Old House, and Mystery.

Although Rick studied film and television production at Emerson College in the 1980s, it wasn't until about 2007 that he began to work on video/film production. He submitted his first film to a festival in 2013. The film, a short called "New England Surfing Excursion" -- which is about a father and son who surf 10 beaches in four states in five days -- was an official selection of the Maine Outdoor Film Festival. Since then, three other films have been shown at 12 festivals and have won Best Feature, Best Maine Film, and Best of Festival awards.

In 2015 Rick wrote his first screenplay -- a short called "The Old Yard." That script won Best Screenplay in the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival's screenplay competition. It was also a finalist at the 2016 Boston International Film Festival. Another script, "The Niagara Resolution," won Best Screenplay at the 2017 Massachusetts Independent Film Festival and was a finalist at the 2016 New York Short Film and Screenplay Festival.

Web-related projects that Rick has been involved with have received following recognition: Webby Award winner in Science category (Wyss Institute, 2012); Webby Award finalist in Education category (NOVA Online, 2001); Webby Award finalist in Education category (A Science Odyssey, 2000); Webby Award Honoree (Children's Research website, 2006); Peabody Award (NOVA Online's Elegant Universe -- program and website -- 2003); and 32 USA Today Hot Picks (way back when they did that!).

Rick was born in Lewiston, Maine, and spent his childhood nearby in Livermore Falls.

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