|Catalog Number||WF 2096|
|Caption||Opening of March's Point airfield|
View of Ryan Brougham monoplane named QUEEN OF THE COWLITZ at the opening of Fidalgo Island's first airfield on the northern tip of March's Point. The name is painted near the nose of the aircraft, while at its rear is painted, "St. John Air Service, Chehalis, Wash." This plane was a sister ship to the SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS which was flown by Charles Lindbergh on his flight to Paris. It was built by Ryan-Mahoney Aircraft Company of San Diego. The plane was owned by Arthur St. John who started the first Ford dealership in the Centralia area in 1906. He was an aircraft enthusiast and saw the possibilities of air travel, "investing thousands of dollars" to make a study of it "in the northwest and all along the coastline." He started St. John's Air Service at Centralia's Donahoe Field, initially with just two planes. This monoplane was "equipped with hydraulic brakes, a starter, and a Wright whirlwind motor. The cabin was furnished in mohair with upholstered seats and a heater to regulate temperature. The plane could carry four passengers and a pilot." St. John's promotion of air travel was probably why this plane participated in the opening of the March's Point Airfield.
WF 2074-2099 represent more than just the history of a small airfield and the inauguration of air service to Fidalgo Island. They also signify the island's participation in the global phenomenon ignited by Charles Lindbergh's historic transatlantic flight in May 1927. The first "flight" from march's Point, the first area of white settlement on Fidalgo seventy-five years earlier, had taken place almost forty years before. The 9-14-1889 ANACORTES PROGRESS reported, "Professor Carey gave a talk on astronomy at Munk's Hall. Sent up a hot air balloon: quite a success: Rose up 2000' and went to northeast ... came down on Reservation." The 6-14-1928 ANACORTES AMERICAN reported that the Kiwanis Club had leased land from Fred March for a 2000' airstrip. The 8-2-1928 issue reported on the airfield's inauguration. 10,000 spectators attended the event and witnessed planes fly in from the Puget Sound region. An "airplane" marriage took place between Richard Fenno and Minnie Kirkman, who exchanged vows during takeoff. The airport was the result of Anacortes Civic Club's year-long efforts to establish an airport on March's Point and thus be at the forefront of the changes brought by air travel which reshaped the regional economy.
|Date||1928, July 28.|
|Collection||Wallie Funk Collection|
Place - Anacortes, WA
Event - Airfield opening
Transportation - Air
|Credit line||Donated by Wallie Funk, Wallie Funk Collection|
Anacortes Civic Club
Ryan Brougham monoplane
Queen of the Cowlitz
St. John Air Service
Ryan-Mahoney Aircraft Company