The Yellowstone Trail Association on Feb. 9 held its annual Board of Directors Meeting at Sentry World in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. As part of the meeting, THE SHOP contributor John Gunnell and former automotive technology instructor, Dave Sarna, were presented with certificates recognizing them as Honorary Trailmen. Gunnell owns Gunner’s Great Garage Restoration Shop in Manawa, Wisconsin.
The Yellowstone Trail was the first coast-to-coast highway across the northern region of the U.S. It was known as “a good road from Plymouth Rock to Puget Sound.” The trail was originally blazed by a man named Mike Dowling, driving a 1913 Oakland 6-60 touring car.
During the first week of October 2017, Gunnell and Sarna took Gunnell’s 1917 Oakland Model 34 touring car across the Wisconsin section of The Yellowstone Trail in a promotion designed to raise money for the Lion’s International Summer Camp for Blind and Disabled Children in Rosholt, Wisconsin. The seven-day event raised over $7,500 in direct donations and mileage pledges.
Mark Mowbray, executive director of the Yellowstone Trail Association, made the presentations at the meeting.
“Trailman was the term used for the important individual in each major town along the Yellowstone Trail who was assigned to answer questions and help direct travelers in his area,” Mowbray said. “It was an important assignment in the early days. We do not have many folks these days who actually do that, but we do honor individuals who have contributed efforts in their areas to promote the Yellowstone Trail and you two certainly did that on your Wisconsin Tour in October.”
Read Gunnell’s coverage from his trip down the Yellowstone Trail this fall: