"Where the history of snowmobiling comes to life"
1959 Boggona Letter

1959 Boggona Letter

March 2, 2011 Dear Paul Crane,Thank you for your interest in my work developing snowmobiles. I was born in Denmark in 1916. I was born naturally mechanically inclined. Trained in mechanics and welding, I was successful in metal fabrication, including smelting, forging, metal casting and steel fabrication and machining.I immigrated to Canada with my wife, Herdis, and our first child, Linda, in 1951. I opened General Machine and Welding with Carl Richter in 1953. At General Machine and Welding we did custom metal fabrication and machining, for example, custom built body parts for Versatile Tractor and architectural metal fabrication. Our work can be found in many buildings in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. As well, we made custom machinery and tools. I always say nothing is impossible. Impossible only takes a little longer.In 1956 we began developing a prototype for our snow machines. If Mike Bosak could build a snowmobile, I certainly could, and do it better. There definitely was a market here in Manitoba for fishing, trapping and for access to the northern environment to aid in northern development. My idea was to make something that was faster than snowshoes. My prototype is now owned and restored by Valdi Stephanson in Minnesota.Our first machines went on the market 1959. We manufactured 2 models, The Super and The Pony, both under the name Boggona. Each machine was handmade, and because we were continually improving and developing them, no two machines are alike.Mr. Crane, your machine has a handmade suspension mechanism. I only made 2 machines with the handmade suspension, the first two machines we made. After that we had them cast. This means your machine is one of the first two we made. We also made a machine with a reverse gear and a bigger engine. It is marked C-2-M. The M stands for Master. We made only one, and I don't know where it is. Between 1959 and 1964, 5 prototypes were made and 50 machines were mass-produced. It became difficult to compete with other manufacturers like Polaris and Bombardier Ski-doo, who had larger, faster production, which allowed them to sell at lower prices. We decided to focus on other successful aspects of our manufacturing, such as the architectural fabrication and custom metal and machine fabrication.

On Sept 20, 2019, The Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum was awarded a grant of $12,500 for Operational Support from the State of Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA – ART WORKS). The grant was awarded through the MCACA peer review process and was one of 561 applications to compete for MCACA fiscal year 2019 funding. The grant requires a 1:1 match and helped the museum leverage the $12,500 of support from its annual income and the many donations from supporters. In particular the museum has received grants from the Graymont Community Economic Development Fund and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. It has also received significant donations from the Antique Snowmobile Club of America, The Midwest Vintage Snowmobile Shows, Inc., many snowmobile clubs, several recreational and snowmobile shows, the museum’s internal $1,000.00 Challenge, and many museum members. The grant funds will be applied to museum operating costs. Applicable costs include internal operations, marketing, travel to shows within the State of Michigan and cost of employees. The MCACA peer review process allows for each grant applicant to be competitively considered by a panel of in-state and out-of-state arts and culture professionals. This ensures the taxpayers, who support this project through legislative appropriations, and all other visitors or residents in Michigan will have access to the highest quality arts and cultural experiences. A complete list of grant awards around the state is available by contacting MCACA at (517) 241-4011, or by visiting the MCACA website at
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Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum
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