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
P.O. Box 2
Naubinway, MI 49762
Hours: 906 477-6298
Appointment: 906 477 6192
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