Snowmobiling’s beginnings can be traced to the needs of the logging industry, trappers, and rural people for dependable over-the-snow transportation.
As time and technology advanced the machines became the basis for a new type of recreation, the first new type of winter recreation to be introduced in most people’s lifetimes. As with anything new there were problems, concerns, and battles to be fought.
New Hampshire played an important role in establishing snowmobiling as a viable and acceptable form of recreation. It’s leadership continues with the establishment of the New Hampshire Snowmobile Museum.
One of the many people who recognizes the significance of the sport of snowmobiling early on was Paul T. Doherty.
This New Hampshire native, who spent most of his life in the winds of the Granite State, envisioned a place where people could learn about the history of snowmobiling. He believed that there should be a location where people could go to feel the excitement of the sport, through it’s memorabilia and machines, thereby understanding the important role snowmobiling plays in the state’s economic and recreational mix.
The dream of founding a museum became a reality in 1985 when a non-profit organization, The New Hampshire Snowmobile Museum Association was created.
The, then Bureau of Off Highway Vehicles and now Bureau of Trails, part of the Division of Parks and Recreation, provided a space at two Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) buildings near Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown, New Hampshire.
In that year, the first and only state sponsored snowmobile museum in the United States became an actuality.
This public-private partnership has proven to be very successful, resulting in a one-of-a-kind museum complex boasting a collection of over 80 snow-traveling machines and a large collection of memorabilia.