Before the snow melts:
Contributor: Deborah Teal of St. Paul
Date of pictures: January 29, 2000 (“Pequot Lakes, Minn. First time on the snow since 1993. Chris Swansen at the controls”)
Date of contribution: January 11, 2007
Caption: “‘Santa Claus Is Coming to Town’ has been on twice this season, and I only caught a little part of it each time. I at least have to see the Eskimobile that Fred Astaire’s character drives. I’ve always thought it was cool, but have come to find out that my father-in-law (now deceased) used to work at the Eskimobile factory! He earned 20 cents per hour, twice the average because he was a painter. Not bad for 1936! His name was Lyle Teal. Which leads to another long-overdue story:
“The night that his son (now my husband) was born, he and ‘Alvie’ were driving to Cumberland hospital. Lyle turned over the pack of Luckies in his hand and said out loud to his laboring wife, ‘Lyle’s Son, Mallard Feather Teal.’ That’s what LSMFT will forever stand for in our family. Turns out, though, that Mallard’s middle name is actually Medwick, after ‘Ducky’ Medwick the baseball player. At his baptism, the pastor said, ‘Feather is not a name!’ — so they crossed it out on the birth certificate and wrote ‘Medwick’ above it. Mallard and I named our son Drake Greenwing Teal; our daughter is Melissa Cinnamon Teal.
“P.S. I use the public library’s computers, and they do not have a scanner. Therefore, I am sending a hard copy of this email along with two photos of our family Eskimobile. It was buildt by Henry ‘Uncle Clotz’ Swansen, Lyle’s brother-in-law.”
Contributor: Betty Pepin Herrigen [sp?]
Date of picture: 1938
Date of contribution: Unknown
Contributor: Jack Berg of Maplewood
Date of picture: 1917
Date of contribution: Probably February 2004
Caption: “Thought you might be interested in this photograph for the ‘Ice Men Cometh Again’ section of the Bulletin Board.
“My grandfather, Iver Holm, built this snowmobile in 1917. His passenger was his brother Gene.
“The snowmobile was powered by a 4-cylinder Henderson motorcycle engine.
“The photo was taken in downtown St. Paul during Winter Carnival.”
Another grandson of Iver Holm sent us the same picture (with much of the same information)!
Contributor: Jim Berg of White Bear Lake
Date of picture: ca. 1912 (?)
Date of contribution: February 27, 2004
Caption: “I hope that the Bulletin Board is not restricting the vintage snowmobiles to commercially manufactured machines, as you can see this snowmobile was homemade by my grandfather.
“Just a little background on him: His name was Iver G. Holm. He was a true ‘motor head,’ or maybe one of the original C.I. (Cylinder Index) boys, as Joe Soucheray calls them. He loved his cars and motorcycles, and if it didn’t have a motor, it wasn’t worth having. He also built a motorized wheelchair that was featured in your newspaper around the same time period. He tested it on the Sixth Street hill just off of Earl Street in St. Paul. He also converted a car to be used by a crippled man about the same time period.
“A little of what I know about the picture I have submitted is that it was taken about 1912. Grandpa Holm is at the steering wheel. I believe that the engine is off a motorcycle, but I am not sure. My mother says that he would tow the toboggan behind it.
“I don’t know any of the other men in the picture. The man at the far left has a Northern Pacific patch on his jacket, and the fourth from the left has a Dayton’s Bluff CC patch on his jacket.
“All in all, I think they were having a lot of fun. I think it would be great if you could place this picture on the Bulletin Board.”