"Where the history of snowmobiling comes to life"
1963 Anderson

1963 Anderson

1963 Anderson: This is one of five or six snowmobiles built during the 50's & 60's by Clay Anderson and his son, Melvin, of Manistique, MI. He built his first one in 1957 after looking at a snowmobile in a Popular Science magazine and decided to build his own. The machine in the museum was built by the Andersons in 1963. One other machine was later disassembled and the parts were used to make a garden tractor.
Mr. Anderson was a machinist at the Port Inland Quarry in Gulliver, MI. He designed and built the transmission for this sled, with high/low/reverse and neutral. The Andersons would gather fallen trees in the winter and use these machines to haul the logs. Lawrence Vallier bought this machine at a garage sale for $5 in the 1980's.

Charlie Vallier took it to a snowmobile show in Manistique, MI and there he met Melvin Anderson, who told Charlie the story behind the snowmobile. In 2014 Melvin came to the museum to see the snowmobile.

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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