The board of directors of the Snowmobile Hall of Fame and Museum (SHOF) held their annual summer meeting in the SHOF Ramstad Conference Room Saturday, Aug. 10.
It was area resident Loren Anderson’s last meeting as president of the non-profit organization founded in Minocqua in 1981-82.
The SHOF has operated a hall of fame and museum for the past 21 years in St. Germain and was in Eagle River and Minocqua for short periods as well.
What began as a trail ride with C.J. Ramstad, the publisher of several snowmobile magazines in the early 80s, ended up with Loren, local racer and businessman, Mike Trapp and Larry Bosacki, of the famous boathouse, deciding they should start a hall of fame for the sport.
It was one of those moments: “If not us, who? If not now, when?”
Thirty years later, some 100 inductees have been enshrined and the organization owns its own land and building on a beautiful wooded campus on St. Germain’s west side on State Highway 70. The collection of sleds in the museum is well-respected throughout the world as one of the most prized and valuable collections in the sport.
Loren retired from the organization at of the end of the board meeting having seen his dream come true.
Loren said, “I look forward to spending more time enjoying the Northwoods, traveling and especially being with my grandkids. You know they all have had their own sleds from age five on.”
Besides serving as leader of the SHOF, Loren managed a career in the building, land development, real estate and design field. He spent some 12 years racing Formula I sleds, owning a race team his son raced on and serving on snowmobile-related boards and commissions.
His long and busy career included a stint as legislative chairman of the Wisconsin Builders Association and a director of the National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C.
Two of the Anderson firms’ buildings won national design awards from the ARA. Loren also worked for Gov. Tommy Thompson as an administrator in the Department of Commerce for four years and later at State Fair Park on the board and as race director, where he is one of the people credited for saving racing at the park and keeping the famous Milwaukee Mile alive, bringing back NASCAR and Indy Car racing.
During these years he also managed to serve as presidents of the Lake Geneva, Minocqua and St. Germain chambers.
The SHOF board had a work day prior to the meeting, moving some 30 sleds around and getting ready for a new and spectacular display of speed sleds including the three famous and historical Boss Cats. The SHOF has over 200 sleds available for display but only around 100 are on display at any one time. The Board members come from as far as Massachusetts, Arizona, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan and, of course, Wisconsin.
Craig Marchbank of New Lennox, Ill. was elected to serve as new president of the board. Craig is a life-long sled head and was the longest serving factory driver for Ski-Doo drag racing efforts, having just retired a few years ago with the most wins in history. He also has an extensive vintage sled collection.
Tom Otte, of Randolph, Minn., was elected to fill the remaining term as vice president as Jon Carlson, now of Mooresville, N.C., has retired from the board as well. Tom is a seed farmer and vintage collector, featuring John Deere sleds. Tom was a factory racer for Deere in the 70s and 80s.
Craig reminds everyone that the raffles have started for a beautiful 1978 John Deere Liquifire and a 2014 Arctic Cat, so visit www.snowmobilehalloffame.com for information.
The SHOF operates a year-round museum on Hwy. 70 West in St. Germain. Hours are 10 a.m.to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.