Small town America is known to make bold claims about having the biggest and best of many an obscure item.
The world’s largest ball of twine resides in Cawker City, Kan. Even Pekin is in on the action, claiming home to the “world’s greatest sundial.”
Hopedale doesn’t claim to feature the greatest or biggest of anything, but does play home to the Willis Snowmobile Museum.
The museum, which curator Russell “Huck” Willis said opened sometime three years ago, will be open to the public Friday and Saturday for the annual summer meeting of the Antique Snowmobile Club of America.
Members from across the snow-belt and beyond have travelled to Hopedale for the meeting, which features access to the museum from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, as well as a display of various vintage and antique snowmobile models outside the museum, located at 204 NW Main St.
Huck Willis, along with sons Danny, Darrin and Donny have been working to build out the museum for the last 21 years in their hometown of Hopedale after years of collecting.
Willis estimates that he has somewhere between 450 to 470 sleds total — “we’ve got way to many” — but not all of them are displayed in the museum.
A release from the club stated that over 200 snowmobiles will be on display.
The museum is independently funded by the Willis family, as well as by donations from visitors.
There are three floors of display, each featuring different snowmobiles and memorabilia.