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OUR STORY

WHO ARE THESE IRON DOGS??

First of all, what is an Iron Dog?

 

     Well, back in 1960 a guy named Edgar Hetteen took a ride across Alaska on a new contraption called a Polaris snowmobile. When the natives saw it, they promptly named it an ”iron dog" because it did the work of their dog teams and the term began to be a popular name for snowmobiles.

 

Now to the Iron Dog Brigade . . .

     In 1975 Ray Brandt, the western US distributor for Polaris, presented the idea of an “Old Timer’s Club to recognize the years of service many people had given the snowmobile business.” He sent letters to other leaders in the industry outlining this new group’s reason to exist.

     Within a month there were a dozen industry leaders that thought enough of the idea that they held a meeting in Minneapolis to discuss the new venture. All saw merit in the idea and were anxious to start up the new group. Two months later, at a national snowmobile trade show in Milwaukee, they met again. This time they adopted a set of by- laws, elected officers, adopted the name “Iron Dog Brigade” and formally organized the new group.

     Their original goal was to become “an association of persons who have had a love affair with the sport of snowmobiling and have actively promoted that sport for more than a decade”. Membership was to be limited to 100 persons.

     It was to also to be a speaker’s bureau that would be available to clubs to promote the sport, and an organization to recognize others for their outstanding achievement and/or contribution to the fun and enjoyment of the sport. A main goal was to stimulate persons who had n never snowmobiled never snowmobiled into trying the sport for the first time.

 

     Over the next 30+ years the Iron Dog Brigade has presented a bit of mystery to the rank and file of snowmobilers.

     They have an annual meeting and private banquet each year at the Congress and little else is seen about them in press releases or news items.

     To some, the Iron Dog Brigade represents a symbol of the mystical romance of the sport.

       There is no secret handshake or greeting. But they are the most respected

and hardest working members of the snowmobile community.

They are not a political lobbing group or safety organization.

Nor will they promote any one brand over the other.   

     Over the years minor changes have been adopted to keep the “Dogs” current with changes in the sport and industry. Now they are capped at 130 members.

 

     Then what do they do?

     

     Their motto: “An honorary society dedicated to the fun of snowmobiling” must have them doing something.

     Each year several are nominated for membership openings created by the passing of a member. Those eligible are inducted at the annual banquet consisting a ceremony compete with a four foot long sword touching each shoulder as they process from a “pup” to a full fledged member of the Iron

Dog Brigade.

 

     In their ranks are the volunteers that have put in countless hours of time to plan, build and maintain trails. Others have served gallantly in the governmental areas that administrated the sport. Some have published magazines and newsletters for their state associations in the face of hard economic times.

 

     Many have been local, state and national officers in various snowmobile clubs and associations donating hundreds of hours of their time to make the sport better and so enjoyable for others.

     Perhaps the most important recognition the Dogs bestow is to the awarding of the George Eisenhuth Distinguished Service Award. George was a vital member of the Dogs for many years and following his passing, the award was named for him. 

     "Been there.....done that," can also be their motto as they now must have contributed 15 years of service to the sport  through an affiliation in organized snowmobiling, industry, media, government, tourism or other snowmobile related activity. Most have 30+ years of service.

     The Iron Dog Brigade is truly an honorary society. Of the 130 current members, 48 have been inducted into the International Snowmobile Hall of Fame. Many others have been inducted into their state Halls of Fame.

All are, or were, very successful leaders in their respective professions or volunteer groups. They all share the same goal . . . to promote the sport of snowmobiling.

     You won’t see them in gaudy jackets with blazing colors. You won’t see them in the limelight at functions and events. Nor will you see them bragging about their accomplishments.

 

     But they are the people who have, for well over 15 years, rolled up their sleeves, got to the task at hand, in whatever snowmobile arena it might be, and worked hard and diligently to keep the sport of snowmobiling on track.

     These are the noted members of the Iron Dog Brigade. . . . ."An honorary society dedicated to the fun of snowmobiling".

   

2019-2020 Iron Dog Brigade Members

Robert Anderson (NH)

Tom Anderson (WI)

Bruno Andreini (IA)

Ross Antworth (New Brunswick)

Fred Austin (Manitoba)

Christine Jourdain Barker (MI)

Laurent Beaudoin (Quebec)

Paul Bergeron (NH)

David Bortner (MN)

Roger Brittain (WA)

Gary J. Broderick (NY)

Dana Cabana (NH)

Carole Carlson (MN)

Harold Case (NH)

Craig Cazier (UT)

Thomas Chwala (WI)

Joseph Cicia (VT)

Elmer Cone (MN)

Bob Culver (WA)

Ken Cundall (WY)

Richard Decker (WI)

Thomas Duling (NH)

Jo Dunphy (ME)

D. Scott Eilertson (MN)

Kenneth Fiske (IL)

Christopher Gamache (NH)

Howard Gieger (OR)

Per-Olov Girhagen (SWEDEN)

Walt Gobel (WA)

Ron Godden (AK)

Rhoda Greenup (ND)

Ron Greenup (ND)

Robert Hall (FL)

Ronald Hambly (IL)

Gail Hanson (NH)

Jerry Hanson (MN)

Nancy Hanson (MN)

L. Scott Herzog (MT)

Mary Herzog (MT)

Dale Hickox (Prince Edward Island)

Marie Hixson (NH)

Bonnie Holbrook (VT)

Jim Holbrook (VT)

Bill Howell (MT)

Jason Howell (MT)

Douglas Johnson (WI)

William Johnson (ME)

Del Kerr (ID)

Bob King (IA)

Judy King (IA)

Marlys Knutson (MN)

Larry Krueger (WA)

Dick Krupp (MI)

Charles Kurtz (NH)

Dotti Kurtz (NH)

Orv Langohr (WI)

Ronald LaRoy (British Columbia)

Ken Larson (MN)

Robert Linn (MN)

Courtney Livingston (SD)

Kay Lloyd (WA)

Cozy Lueck (WA)

John Lyon (IL)

David Low (MI)

Andrew Malecki, Jr. (WI)

Bill Manson (MI)

Daniel Martin (IA)

Roland Martin (NH)

Marty Mattson (MN)

Richard Melick (IA)

Mark Michie (UT)

John Mitchell (WY)

Florence Mohler (WA)

Wayne Mohler (WA)

G. Lowell Morton (PA)

Ila Morton (PA)

Thomas Muir (Manitoba)

R.J. Myers (MI)

Dennis Nauman (IA)

Len Neisler (IN)

Ervin Nolt (PA)

Mitzi Oakes (VT)

Les Ollila (MN)

De Lyle Pankratz (MN)

John Pearson (MN)

Wayne Pelkey (VT)

Roger Pennington (CO)

Bill Pfaff (WI)

Roger Pillman (Alberta)

Ron Potter (MN)

Clayton Prince (British Columbia)

Fred Putnam (VT)

Kim Raap (SD)

Roberta Rawlings (CA)

Ronald Rawlings (CA)

Dave Robertson (WA)

Frank Roy (NH)

Marilyn Ruediger (SD)

Bill Schumann (WI)

Jack Sheets (CO)

Larry Shepherd (MN)

Ed Skomoroh (MN)

James Smail (WY)

Joann Smith (WI)

Greg Sorenson

Peg Spieger (OR)

Dick Squiers (IN)

Ken Stewart (SD)

Donald Stineman (OH)

Duane Sutton (SD)

Ole Tweet (MN)

Dale Vagts (IA)

Jerry Wanty (WI)

Glenn Warren (WA)

Jack Welch (CO)

Steve Wess (SD)

Donna Jean White (WI)

Brian Wiley (ME)

Todd Wilkinson (SD)