The Barre Town Thunder Chickens were founded in 1971 by a group of snowmobile enthusiasts who have stayed involved with the workings of the club over the years, either directly or indirectly through their children and grandchildren.
Our name was created at an early meeting held at the home of Randolph Gonyaw. At that time, VAST was desiring each volunteer club to obtain a name. Bill Lowery threw out an idea of “Thunder Chickens” which he borrowed from a friend whom owned two Ford Falcons, and referred to them as his “Thunder Chickens”, the name was voted on and recorded into the minutes taken that night. Dennis Gonyaw recently shared this story with us and passed along the original Thunder Chicken patch that was obtained from a snowmobile suit back then. This was something that he has held in his possession since he was eight years old and has now donated to the club to be kept in our archives. Before this, we had “heard” Thunder related to the noise of the early machines, and Chicken came from a name calling episode – it’s great to have learned the true beginnings of the club name. Over time, our club grew as the Berlin Wolverines dissolved, and the Thunder Chickens assumed their territory.
Although many things have changed in the snowmobile community over the last 30 years, the main mission of the club is still intact.
Our mission is to provide and maintain the VAST network through our region. We do this by maintaining and grooming over 40 miles of trails which make up our local system.
Many hours of volunteer time is donated in an effort to provide the trails to ride on. Without people willing to volunteer their time, we would not be able to perform the necessary trail maintenance of clearing trees, construction projects, trail signage, marking road crossings, and working with the town select boards, VAST, Law enforcement, and the landowners.