Feb 08-09

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2009: February: Feb 08-09
The Motor Toboggan at work...    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo from eliason-snowmobile.com
...and play    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo from eliason-snowmobile.com

Charlie at Pasty Central (Chopper) on Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 09:37 am:

A year ago the Pasty Cam was rounding out a decade of daily pictures, and we wanted to expand our coverage of life in the north woods, with something more. Somebody sent me a link to eliason-snowmobile.com, a fascinating story of the forerunner to present day Snowmobiles. We also discovered a way to mix pictures, text and music for the web pages. Putting the two together we came up with the first Pasty Cameo, and eventually added "Day in History".

I hadn't been back to the Eliason website in awhile, and happened to notice this ad from a 1944 Life Magazine. We don't often think of a snowmobile (or Motor Toboggan in those days) as a work vehicle. The note at the bottom of the page adds some insight to the times, which appeared toward the end of World War II:

By the way, Edie and I had a chance to see the fireworks at Winter Carnival last night in Houghton/Hancock (we were crossing the bridge as they were going off.) We've lived here 21 years, and its the first time I recall actually making to see the event. Of course, we had seen it on the Pasty Cam a few times :o)
mickill mouse (Ram4) on Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 09:47 am:

I remember when I lived in Houghton, I saw the winter carnival fireworks for the first time. I could not move because I did not want to miss a thing. Words, to me, can not exspress how I felt watching them. ;O)

By E. Neil Harri (Ilmayksi) on Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 10:00 am:

Check out this snow machines . It is from 1924.
It looks like it was tested in the UP.


By JAD, Oscar, MI (Jandalq) on Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 10:01 am:

A group gathered on the 3rd floor of The Bluffs to watch the Ski Patrol's torchlight parade and the fireworks. We didn't see a thing! Snow and mist moved in--we couldn't even see the bridge. But it was nice to visit with the Kiwanis members who sponsored the refreshments.

By Brian R. Juntikka (Polkatime) on Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 10:52 am:

Lots of snowmobile memories in the Range Towns when I was a kid, even though I couldn't talk my Dad into buying one!

They started to become popular around 1964 or so with brands like Polaris, Ski-Doo, Ski-Daddler, Arctic-Cat, and the Bolens Huskii and later Diablo Rouge line which Rudy Kemppainen sold and serviced in that era.

My neighbor, Norman Niemitalo, was one of the handiest guys I've ever known. He had a home workshop out in his garage, and he could build or fix just about anything there. It took him almost a year to do it, but Norman built his own snowmobile from scratch and it worked well.

The last time I climbed aboard a snowmobile ("snow machine" as they were called back then), was in February of 1967 at the age of thirteen. It was Rudy Kemppainen's Diablo Rouge demo and I had a blast riding it through Obenhoff and Onnela. It had a top speed of about 30 miles per hour - ridiculous by today's standards, but you didn't need a groomed trail to ride it. That vehicle made its own "trail."

Time sure flies!

Brian R. Juntikka
Fort Myers, FL

By Daveofmohawk (Daveofmohawk) on Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 01:54 pm:

Some things have improved over the yrs., snowmobiles are one of them. Today's snowmobiles are almost as dependable as a car. [and almost as expensive] When I first started riding it was a major journey to go from Calumet to Copper Harbor; and not without having to do repairs along the way. With today's machines people zip from Ironwood to Copper Harbor just to have lunch and then back to Ironwood. That kind of a trip would have taken a week back in the 60's or 70's with about a dozen repair stops.

By Gus LL (Gusll) on Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 04:40 pm:

I bought my first snowmobile in Marsh of.1964. It was an Arctic Cat Mod 250 with a Kohler 10 HP engine mounted in the rear. Steel track,forward and reverse, seating side by side. Top speed about 20 MPH. Rudy Kempainen started selling the Huski in about 62 or 63. There were over 20 snowmobile dealers in the local area at one time. I will list them later. I still have a 63 Cat Mod. 300. The 250 is in the museum at Lake Linden.

By Marsha, Genesee/Aura (Marsha) on Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 05:13 pm:

Thanks for the very cool video, Neil!

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 05:16 pm:

Hubby and I got into snowmobiling 23 yrs. ago this winter. It was my idea to try it out, I was so tired of just sitting around, there had to be a way to have fun with snow and winter. It really is a wonderful way to enjoy the snow and the scenic trails that are made available. I may add that Polaris is #1!

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 06:13 pm:

Did someone take my posting down thanking Charlie for the video?

Perhaps you typed it but didn't successfully submit. The forum pages have become so big that it responds a little slower.

Thanks for the thanks.

By Grace M Wetton (Gmw) on Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 08:24 pm:

Todays topic of snowmobiles sure brings back memories when I was a kid too. My dad was a Ski-Doo man which he took me many times with him. No groomed trails, power line trails. Railroad track trails. 1967 Ski-Doo Olympic we rode.
A ride from Houghton to Twin Lakes and back was a Sunday afternoon delight. Mother wasn't into snowmobiling. Today, I wouldn't want to be on one. Machines are built to go too fast and others are cruising down the trails TOO FAST and careless.

By Gary Hookway (Ghookway) on Sunday, February 8, 2009 - 10:05 pm:

I'd rather have one of those snow machines than a snowmobile, looks like a blast!

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