"Where the history of snowmobiling comes to life"
Wing Aero Sleigh Painting

Wing Aero Sleigh Painting

Not long after we first opened the museum (the old building), someone came to us with 2 of these paintings. They purchased a cabin in Brevort and the 2 paintings were hanging on the wall. They didn’t know anything about them and didn’t want them so they offered to donate them to the museum. I did some research and found out they were the Wing Aero Sleigh, made in St. Ignace, MI. The Wing family owned that cabin and one of the sons of Chester Wing painted them in the 1950’s.

"Keep me posted if you hear anything more about the "sleighs" as they were way ahead of the snow mobiles. The Wing's grandfather CB built the first on or before 1918 for his fathers, WG Wing's need men and supplies delivered out or up to the Carp River lumber mill of "WING & BROWN", by 1918 WG was the sole owner of this mill. I am not positive of the year, but around 1937 CB gave the strawberry farm, north of town to the county. The Wing's had a copula on top of the Garage that served as a US Weather Station and contact for planes to signal they were coming in at night and as there were no lights for the runway. CB would have cars drive out there and turn on their lights and light 55 gal. cans with fuel oil at the two ends of the runway. As a kid born in 1942 I recall my Dad, Blaine driving me out there to light the runway when I was not quite 4 years of age. For a little guy I was very impressed, but wondered why the Wings were doing this up into the 1950's and my Dad said because everyone expected CB to still do it even after he gave the property to the county. The quonset shed, "the barn" at the airport that was put up sometime in the 20's by CB has a place inside the "barn" where a Wing mechanic worked on planes and pumped gas. The Garage in town had an air plane radio and a direct phone line to the mechanic at the airport when a plane was landing. Later, I just recall at the south hill near the barn they put up a big landing light on a tower to assist night landings, and that at the time was a big deal.” By grandson, Chester Wing.

Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum News Release-2023 On September 22, 2023 the Michigan Arts and Culture Council (MACC) in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced it would be generously awarding the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum in Naubinway an $8750 grant for operational support during 2024. MACC uses a peer review process to award grants. More than 700 organizations across the state applied for funding. Each grant application is competitively judged; awardees are chosen to ensure Michigan residents and visitors have access to the most authentic aspects of local arts and culture. Organizations receiving a grant award from MACC/NEA are required to match those funds with other public or private dollars. The Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum receives a great deal of donated monetary support through its memberships and visitors and plans to use these funds to match the MACC grant award. There are 141 active museum members not including lifetime members and more than 7000 visitors just last year.

The museum has plans to bring more local art-related activities to our conference room and develop a program for groups with special needs. This support will go toward the cost of wages and advertising for these activities. 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
P.O. Box 2
W11660 US-2
Naubinway, MI 49762
Hours: 906 477-6298
Appointment: 906 477 6192

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