The snowmobile has radically changed the economy of the Northwoods. Bringing large numbers of recreational snowmobile drivers into the area has made it possible for many motels, restaurants, gift shops, and other service businesses to remain open in the winter. While not making the Northwoods a four-season playground, the snowmobile has extended the economic year so that the area may really claim a year-round economy
Trails in the Star Lake and Sayner area are maintained by a Sayner Barnstormers Snowmobile Club, Inc., founded November 26, 1969. By the turn of the century they were maintaining 75 miles of groomed trails. Star Lake Tourist Brochure, 1996-1997
Sayner, Wisconsin, has figured in the history of the snowmobile. Carl Eliason is generally credited with building the forerunner of the modern snowmobile. Early examples of his machines are on display at the No topic [186 vilas county historical museum] in Sayner and at the Eliason Building Supply in Sayner, operated by his son, John, and grandson, John Jr. For more information about the Eliason Snowmobiles click on the link below titled "Eliason Snowmobiles."
In the late 1920's Henry Ford developed a prototype "snow tractor." I know little about this machine, though the film of it is quite impressive. It appeared on the internet (YouTube and elsewhere) in 2009. If can be viewed at the link above, titled "Snow Tractor."
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