The Viking Snow Drifters Snowmobile Club was created on December 15th, 1969, by an initial set of members spread across Stoughton, McFarland and Madison.
The purpose of the club was "charitable, educational, scientific, recreational, conservational, and shall include, but not be limited to, all activities normally associated with snowmobiling and the promotion of safety in snowmobiling and the promotion of legislation relating to snowmobiling."
The Founding Directors of the club were: Roger Nitzsche (Stoughton), Larry Severson (Stoughton), Roger Gunnelson (Stoughton), Ricky Peterson (Madison), Alfred Quam (Stoughton), W. Dean Horner (Stoughton, Treasurer), Glenn Hanson (Stoughton, President), and Margaret Larson (Stoughton, Secretary) and Robert Larson (Stoughton, Vice President).
In 1969, there were three snowmobile dealers in Stoughton. Snow-mobile Center sold Ski-doo, Quam's Electric & Marina sold Johnson Skee Horse, and Gunnelson's Implement sold Arctic Cat.
In a letter to the club in 2019, Roger Nitschke, shared the history of the club from its beginning. At the time the club was founded, Roger was co-owner of the Snowmobile Center, on Main Street in Stoughton. He writes that after two years of opening the business, sled owners continued to encourage them to start a snowmobile club. Snowmobilers wanted to do activities as a group
In the fall of 1968, Roger Nitschke and Palmer Jacobson, co-owners of the Snowmobile Center, along with Larry Severson, the owner of Sunnyside Restaurant and Resort set up the first meeting to discuss creating a club.
The Viking Snowdrifters Club was founded in October, and incorporated in December of 1969, with a goal to maintain snowmobiling in the area, and to set the standard by which the sport was looked upon as a respectful and viable form of winter recreation.
Roger writes the interest, enthusiasm and growth of the club over the next few years was unbelievable. Original membership consisted of members from Madison and the Stoughton area. The club met monthly at Sunnyside Restaurant throughout the year.
In those days, the trails were created and maintained by the members, and the club enjoyed many organized rides.
Roger added, that it was not uncommon to have up to 100 sleds in front of the restaurant on a Saturday and Sunday during the prime months of snowmobiling.
We would like to thank Roger Nitzschke for assisting in documenting the fifty year history of the Viking Snowdrifters.
The club's first grooming machine was a Bombi with four foot drag, followed by a purchasing a drag and renting a tractor to pull it. In 2008, the club purchased its first twin track, and in the spring of 2019, the club purchased another twin track, a Piston Bully with drag, which enables the club to groom the trails more often.
In 2015, the club had its first annual spaghetti feed fundraiser, which is now an annual event every November. It has continued to grow each year.
Fifty years and nearly 34 miles of trails that connect clubs from Oregon, Utica, Waubesa, and Rock County. Snowmobilers are now able to patronize our many restaurants and fuel stops on our groomed trails.
Membership is currently at about 70-80 families, including some three generation family members who are active or have been active with the club here in Stoughton.
We are proud to say that the club is growing and as more members get involved in the yearly activities, the club will be here for another fifty years.