"Where the history of snowmobiling comes to life"

Snowmobile Museum Conference Room for Groups and Events. The Top of The Lake Snowmobile Museum | Naubinway, Michigan
Upper Peninsula Antique & Vintage Snowmobiles
"Where the history of snowmobiling comes to life."

Bud Knapp & John McGuirk
Library & Media Center

Our visitors are encouraged to utilize our unique library for vintage snowmobile history and research.  You are also invited to use our Media Center to watch tapes, CDs and DVDs that we have.  There is a spacious table and chairs in the library for our guests.

Our library is dedicated to Ernol “Bud” Knapp, also well known as the “Professor” of snowmobile information & history from Grand Rapids, MI.  He began his interest in the history of snowmobiling in 1965 and was known throughout the world about his vast knowledge of information regarding sledding.  Bud’s library is thought to be the largest collection of printed information in the world regarding historic information on snowmobiling.  This incredible compilation of information was donated to the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum and placed in our library in September of 2017.

Bud’s dedication to the sport of snowmobiling is really incredible.  Here is a list of his great achievements:

  • At the young age of 17, Bud joined the United State Marine Corps and fought in the Pacific
  • He showed his family the world
  • Created the largest collection snowmobile information and history in the world
  • Attended snowmobile shows and conventions
  • Went to congress in the US and Canada
  • Served as Vice President and President of the ASCOA
  • Coproduced a show highlighting vintage sleds, “Snowmobile Scene”
  • National show called, “PM Magazine” – created right in his own home
  • Wrote articles for many magazines, newsletters, papers
  • Received the Allan Hetteen Memorial Award in 2002
  • Inducted into the International Snowmobile Hall of Fame in 2002
  • Helped start the West MI Snowmobile Museum, Cedar Springs

"Bud was known as a one-man snowmobile historical society. He assisted snowmobile collectors around the world in understanding and evaluating the machines and memorabilia of the sport. Known throughout the sport of snowmobiling, Bud has amassed a collection of snowmobile information and materials that is unrivalled in collector circles." — International Snowmobile Hall of Fame, Allan Hetteen Memorial Award of Merit 2002

"When he turned 17, he quit school to become a proud member of the United States Marine Corps fighting in the Pacific as a China Marine in World War II. He proudly wore his Marine jacket and cap and displayed Marine memorabilia in his home. He took his family around the world including several vacations in Europe and nearly every state in the Union. He showed his family the world, yet reminded them to not forget your family and neighbors. " — Grand Rapids Press, 2014

More information can be found by visiting the following links:

♦  International Snowmobile Hall of Fame 2002 Inductee:

♦  Internation Snowmobile Hall of Fame Allan Hetteen Award:

  Grand Rapids Press:

Photo Note:  The Polaris jacket on display in the library is on loan by Tony Rolfes.  This is the last coat worn by David Johnson, co-founder of Polaris.

“The Top of the Lake snowmobile Museum was ranked #1 of the top 13 Fantastic Snowmobile Museums in North America.” – SnowGoer Magazine, December 20th, 2012

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
Keep Up To Date (906) 477-6298

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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