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Ski jumping was a natural activity in the southwestern part of Wisconsin since it was settled largely by Norwegians starting in 1848. By the turn of the century, there were dozens of small ski jumps throughout Wisconsin and many other states.

It quickly became a popular spectator sport with the advent of automobiles. For a number of years before WW II, the University of Wisconsin Madison had a ski jumping team. The hill was located on Bascom Hill with the outrun on Lake Mendota.

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