The New Hampshire Snowmobile
. . . . .a brief history
by Dave Mayhew, Bob Anderson, Ellis
reprinted from 25th Anniversary Brochure (4/94)
The year that ushered in the snow machine as a new form of recreation
in New Hampshire was 1959.
In the next six years, many snowmobiles would be sold to people of
all walks of life. By 1964 and 1965
a number of these people were forming Snowmobile Clubs. In the year
of 1968, it became obvious that
a statewide association would be needed to contact other Snowmobile
Clubs in the state for help in legislative situations and so forth.
The Winnepasaukee White Mountain Times announced an open meeting
of snowmobilers of N.H. on
a Sunday in March of 1969 at Christmas Tree Island at the Weirs.
The meeting was chaired by
Bill Jones, Editor of the Times. Among the speakers was Ellis Ring
and we believe a Mrs. Normandin,
a member of the House of Representatives in Concord. Clubs in attendance
were the S-Ki-Mos from Salem, the Lisbon Stump Jumpers, Colebrook
Ski-Bees, and Pittsburgh Ridge Runners, as well as a number of individual
At this meeting, after listening to speakers, an immediate and definite
need for a statewide organization was realized to protect and enhance
our new form of recreation. Dick Remfert, of Exeter, agreed to head
up a voluntary committee from the southern portion of the state,
and Willard Pike, of Colebrook, agreed
to head a like committee from the northern section to bring in suggested
At an organization meeting in April of 1969, again held at Christmas
Tree Island, there were 66 persons present, representing 11 clubs.
The two sets of bylaws brought in by the two committees were
discussed at length. Parts of each were approved and it was left
that the two committees should
each propose a new set and exchange them for further study and bring
them to the first meeting of
the Board of Directors. Is was decided to organize with a Board
of Directors consisting of one Director
from each county to represent the individual clubs in their county.
One Director representing non-club individual members. One director
representing commercial interests and the sport of snowmobiling.
The original board consisted of John Bordeau of Franklin representing
Belknap County, Bob Anderson
of North Conway for Carroll county, Willard Pike of Colebrook for
Coos county, George Quig of Littleton
for Grafton county, Floyd Emery of Hillsboro for Hillsborough county,
Robert Isabelle of Tilton for
Merrimack county, Dick Remfert of Exeter for Rockingham county,
Ellis Ring of Northwood representing commercial interests, Larry
Connary of Lancaster representing the distributors, Frank Clark
of Lisbon representing dealers, Bill Jones of Laconia for Members-At-Large.
Subsequently, Richard Samoisette
of Kingston was named Racing Director and Roland Hall of Keene as
Director of Cheshire County. Sullivan and Strafford Counties did
not have directors at this time. Leo Spredbury of Springfield was
the first Director of Sullivan County and Ernest Gahan of Dover,
the first for Strafford. At the close of this April meeting the
Board of Directors present met to elect officers. Ellis Ring was
elected the first President, George Quig Vice-President and Alice
Hanneman of Manchester, Treasurer and Secretary.
To help defray the organization expenses, donations were requested
from those in attendance. A representative from the S-Ki-Mos of
Salem wished to make a membership deposit for their club. They
thus became the first club to join the organization.
The first official meeting of the Board of Directors was held in
a motel room at Tobey's in Plymouth, on
the second Tuesday evening in May 1969. Subsequent meetings were
also held on the second Tuesday of the month at the Pemigewasset
National Bank in Plymouth for several years. They have since met
at a number of places. At the present time, the Board meets on the
third Tuesday of the month at the NHSA Office, in Tilton at 7:00PM.
Many things still had to be taken care of. A dues structure was established.
Some form of newsletter
of communication was needed, so the Sno-Traveler was formed. A logo
was needed for N.H.S.A. for decals, patches, stationary, etc. Claud
Brousseau, a well-known commercial artist from Littleton, was selected
and he and George Quig, the first VP designed the logo we are still
using. One of the first
projects was the incorporation and registering our name. When we
attempted to register with the
Secretary of State, we found that there was another similar name
on record and we had to negotiate though legal counsel with the
prior registrar a cost of $500. We were able to use our name for
years. Since we were already using our name and had it printed on
stationary etc, we decided to accept
the offer. To protect ourselves, we did register under the name
of New Hampshire Snow Sleds, Inc.
When it came time for renewal, as luck would have it, the prior
owner of N.H.S.A. neglected to renew,
so after the necessary waiting period we were able to assume the
name permanently and without additional cost.
In as much as a great deal had transpired since the April meeting,
it was decided to have an open
meeting of state members to report progress and secure their approval.
This was done with a meeting
at Gunstock on Sunday, Sept. 21. A chicken barbeque was served by
the local Fire Department at $3.00
a plate. The meeting was well attended and the actions of the Board
of Directors up to that point were approved, and those who had volunteered
to serve were formally elected.
During the fall and winter of 1969-1970, there were many things our
new association had to address. Considerable effort was devoted
to Search and Rescue. The Lisbon Stump Jumpers and the S-Ki-Mos
of Salem were the most active. Many clubs either built their own
or purchased various ambulance type sleds. The Fish and Game Department
was very helpful with ideas and ways to improve the project.
Another problem that first winter was the matter of litter and the
image of the snowmobiler. There were many complaints of snow machines
where they were not wanted, and of people leaving litter. Much emphasis
to correct this was accomplished and many complimentary letters
were received from Board
of Selectmen and landowners.
The progress and work of the Board of Directors led Governor Peterson
to establish an Ad Hoc Snowmobile Study committee. Ellis Ring, President
of N.H.S.A, headed this. Many organizations and branches of government,
landowners, and so forth were active on this committee.
In February of 1970, the International Snowmobile Congress was held
in Duluth, Minnesota. Two members of the Board of Directors, Frank
Clark and George Quig attended. Practically all of their
expenses were shared out of their own pockets. They brought back
a tremendous amount of information. N.H.S.A. was very fortunate
to have people like this in its infancy.
The first formal Annual Meeting was held in the spring of 1970 in
the Moosehall in Laconia on April 19th. The Board of Directors was
Arthur Fillmore (Belknap), Vern Richardson (Carroll), Roland Hall
(Cheshire), Willard Pike (Coos), Robert Burg (Grafton), Floyd Emery
(Hillsborough), Robert Clark (Merrimack),
Walter Ross (Rockingham), Ernest Gahan (Strafford), and Leo Spredbury
(Sullivan). Members-At-Large Director, Dr. Lee Eastman; Distributor
Director, Roy Bartlett; Dealer Director, Bernard Chase; Contributor
Director, Ellis Ring; Racing Director, Dick Samiosette. After the
first Annual Meeting of N.H.S.A., it was obvious it was here to
stay and is now looking at its 25th anniversary.
In February 1970, the New Hampshire Snow Slickers of Manchester raised
$154.81 for the New Hampshire Easter Seal Society. The following
year in conjunction with the S-Ki-Mos, they raised $420. During
1971 and 1972, Rhys Llewellyn representing the Easter Seal Society
came to our board
meetings three different times trying to persuade it to hold a state-wide
ride to raise money for Easter Seals.
The year 1973 was one of N.H.S.A.'s most important years. From Governor
Peterson's Ad Hoc Snowmobile Committee came the Interim study of
snowmobiles and ATV's. Out of this committee
came HB.10 that was passed and signed into law. HB.10 created the
Bureau of Off Highway Recreational Vehicles, better known as the
Bureau of OHRV. Paul Doherty, a former Chief Law Enforcement Officer
with the NH Fish and Game, was named the Bureau OHRV Chief Supervisor.
Through the Bureau and Paul Doherty came the Grant-In-Aid program.
House bill #10 was truly a milestone for N.H. snowmobilers. The
workings of the Bureau are a history in itself, which we hope someone
Late in 1972, the Board of Directors voted to have a Ride-In for
Easter Seals as suggested by Rhys Llewellyn. Richard Daniels, Leonard
Arkerson, and John Dunlap were the committee for the first Ride-In.
It was scheduled for the first weekend in March 1973 at Lervitt
Park in Moultonboro. That first Ride-In
raised $5000 for Easter Seals and gave the N.H.S.A. much needed
favorable publicity. With the close of our 21st Ride-In to benefit
Easter Seals, N.H.S.A. has raised a total of $851,195.00. Having
the Ride-In headquarters in various cities and towns in N.H. has
helped to develop the Snowmobile Trail System.
The first N.H.S.A. Jamboree was held at the Hopkinton Fair Grounds, September
15 and 16, 1973. John Putnam of Sullivan County was the chairman. The Jamboree
was a wonderful time for all who attended. N.H.S.A. has sponsored a Jamboree
annually since 1973.
In 1974, Mrs. Joanne Guilmette, after serving N.H.S.A. long and well
as its part time Corresponding Secretary, resigned. Carroll Pelletier
of Amherst, NH was hired as her replacement. In 1975, N.H.S.A. rented
its first office making it possible to move all of its belongings
out of officer's homes. Today,
N.H.S.A has an excellent office inTilton, NH with a full-time Executive
We hope this brief history of the founding of the New Hampshire Snowmobile
Association will help you
in understanding its beginning. In the office in Tilton, NH, all
of the Sno-Travelers and in hard bound
books and can be used to fill in any gaps we may have missed. We
apologize to any of the founders of N.H.S.A. or any of those that
helped found this organization that we may have overlooked.
The achievements of the N.H.S.A. have been many, and through favorable
State Legislation and laws acclaimed the best Snowmobile Laws in the country.
With complete cooperation of the Bureau of Trails and Fish and Game Department,
we have joined our clubs together with group activities, annual jamborees,
N.H.S.A. Ride-In to benefit Easter Seals, Camp Sno-Mo, and the Annual Meeting
To quote our old friend John Dunlap, "Let us all pull together to
show as much progress in the years ahead as we have done during the past
25 Support your association and its officers and directors."