Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

Culver Military Academy Airport  

Airport For Culver Approved By State

Land to be Donated By Academy; to Start Work Soon.

Formal approval of the location and building of an airport in Culver has been issued by state officials and it is expected that work will begin in a few day under the civil works program.

It is stated the $18,269 has been allowed for the progect and that a quota of 119 men assigned.

The airport will be located northeast of the Academy, with wasr access to road 10.

The site picked by state aviation officials after considering a numer of location is south of road 10, east of the Academy golf course and north of the Vonnegut orchards,

The Academy has offered to donate a lease of the land to the town of Culver, and a steam shovel. The was necessary so the land would be controlled by a miniciplaity and the man hours confined to the limit set by the Federal authorities for anyy one project.

There will be a great amount of dirt to be filled infor the runways and if done only by man power would take som much time that the officials could not approve the work

Plan Two Runways

Two runways will be built, the adjacent ground levelllled and obstructing trees removed. Wooden marks will be built at the ends of the runways, ut the port wii not be lighted.

It is not planded to build a hanger at this time.

This airport will serve as a landing field for visitors to Culver, the Academy and the lake, aw well as an emergency field for commercial planes on the South Bend-Terre Haute and Chicago-Cincinnati routes.

It will be one of several airports of its type to be vuilt over the state this spring, and is the second largest on the list just approved - - 10 Jan 1934 Culver Citizen

Airport Project Work is Started
    Landscaping at School is Started Thies Weel

    Work on the airport project northeast of town was started Monday morning with tne men employed in the prelimary clearing of the land.

    The project will swing into full activity later in the week when the steam shovel arrives.

    A large quanity of rocks and stones is being gathered from the airport site and will be given away for the moving. Anyone interested should see W. E. Friend. These rocks are sutable for foundations, walls etc.

    Old Landmark

    I tearing down the old barm that must be moved to make room for the runways, it was found that the structure was built of walnut and that no nails were used, wooded pegs holding the beams and boards togethehr, marking the barn as an old landmark.....
This was probably on what was the Dinsmore and Vories farms

1934 - Jan 24 - To File For Project to Paint Air Sign....
    A request for a CWA project to paint a large sign for guidance of airplanes was voted at the meeting of the Culver CHamber of Commerve Monday noon.

    It is probable that this will be placed on the roof of the Medbourn Ice house, and will be handled by a committe composed of Harry Medbourn, Earl Foreman and W. E. Firend.

    This work is being done at the suggestion of the state aviation committee....

    Steam SHovel Arrives.

    The steam shovel for use on the airport construction work arrived Monday morning and was put into immediate use. The shovel weighs 56,000 pounds it was stated....

1934 - Jan 24 - CWA Workers Reduces to 24 HOurs a week... Instructions have been received that all voernment aiport projects are to have precedence over other plans.

1934 - Feb. 7 - $78,000 CWA Money Flows Into County... The two airports that are being constructed in the county, one at Culver... are using all labor from the county except the operator of the steam shovel at the local airport...

1934 - Feb 21 - Dirt Flies As Work Progresses on Port
    7,000 Pounds of Grass Seed to be Used on Runways

    ABout 600 yards of dirt are being moved daily at the Culver airport, a CWA project, the quanity being kept down by the frozen ground. A total of 60,000 yards is to be moved before the port is completed

    At present 12 trucks, 2 teams, 20 men and a steam shovel are at work, but it is believed another 20 men will be added to the force this week, which will increase the amounty of diert moved each day.

    The leveling of the ground forms the major portion of the project, as two runways of 2,500 feet in length and 300 feet in width are to be constructed.

    Forms V-Shape.

    These runways will have a special covering of a hardy grass and will use 7,000 pounds of grass seed. One runway rusn southeast from state road 10 to the corner formed by the county road and Vonnegut's property, while the other runway extends southwest from the county road to the golf course and Vonnegut corner. They intersect in the southeast corner of the port, with additional room allowed at that point for planes to taxi into postion.

    In the area formed by the V-shape of the runways the Academy briddal path winds through the woods and along the south edge of the port,while the 6th, 7th and 9th holes of the golf course are in the same vivinity. All woods that might interfere with the landing of planes have been cleared away.

    While this is a CWA project, the Academy's Department of Buildings and Grounds, of which A. E. Wennerstrom is superintendent, is doing the engineering and supervising, but no member of this dempartment is drawing pay from the CWA for services, electing to allow this additional sum to go to regular CWA workers. The Academy is also furnishing the steam shovel without cost to the CWA appropriation.

    A detialed map of the airport has been presented to the Citizen by Mr. Wennerstrom and is on display at this office for all those interested instudying the project.

1934 - Mar 28 - New Airports Boon To Pilots In State
    Culver Included in Towns to be Markerd by Air Signs

    Airplane pilots who fly over Indiana will not have much occasion to get lost this summer if the CWA program to mark buildings throughout the state is completed as planned.

    Under the direction of the state civil works admistration names of towns are being painted in large orange letters on the toprs of flatroofed buildings and other structures easily seen from the air.

    The program is being carried on in 402 cities in the state, William H. Book, state CWA director stated today, and it is expected to be completed soon...

1934 - 18 Apr. Climpeses of Township's Yesterdays... In 1934, as these lines are being written, another discovery of old animal bones is puzzling a few people of interested in such antiques. This is another Union townshop find. Men were working with a large moter-driven shovel, building a runway for an airport, a Civil Works Administration project, on a hill northeast of Lake Maxinkuckee, when the scoop disturbed the bones that had been laying some six or eight feet below the surface for no one knows how long. One too was saves a a curosity. Other bones of a skelton were uncovered , but in the grading workmen turned them under again....

1934 - May 2 - Work to Get Airport Completed In Culver
    SInce the work on the CUlver airport was stopped by the canellation of the CWA set-up, efforts have been made to have some other government agency take over this project.

    The new FERA plan places Culver in the rural division, which does not include labor for such projects as the airport.

    The Chamber of Commerce at its meeting Monday voted to write the Department of COmmerce urging that the airport be completed by its aviation branch. It was explained that the town board has also written Secretary Roper with a full explanation of the local situation...

1934 - May 23 - ... A report was made on the resumption of work on the Culver airport, and it is expected that definite information will be available in the near futre.

1934 - June 13 - State Officials Visit Culver Airport Site.
    The site of the new Culver airport was visited last week by Charles E. Cox Jr., superintendednt of the Indianapolis municipal airport and Herbert O. Fisher, state airport advisor.
    The local insection was a part of the tour that was made of Indiana airports which have been built or were being constructed by the CWA....

    No further plans regarding the completion of the Culver airport have been announced.

1934 - Jul 18 - Work Resumed on Culver AIrport
    Expect to Finish Project Within Three Months

    Work on the CUlver airport has been resumed and those in charge of the project believe that the construction work will be completed within three months.

    The project was started last spring under the CWA, but is now being carried on by the FERA and and additional appropriation of non-relief funds.

    Fifty men and four truck drivers from relief rolls are working on the airport, as are 11 truck drivers, two foreman and a steam sovel operator of non-relief listing.

    The airport, which is located eat of the Academy near State Road 10, will have two runways when completed, 300 feet wide and 2,600 feet long. One will run northwest and the other east and west, with the intersetion in the southeast corner of the field.

1934 - Nov 7 - To Compete Airport by Thanksgiving Day.
    The Culver airport will be ready for use by Thanksgiving day if good weather continues during the next two weeks, according to those in charge of the project.

    The steam shovel is finishing up the last of its work, leaving only the grading to be done before planes can land. Grass seed will then be planted and the finishing touches made to complete the airport as planned.

1934 - Nov. 21 - State Plane Visits New CUlver Airport
    Inspection by Engineer AS Work Nears Completion.

    Culver's new airport was initiated Tuesday morning when an airplane piloted by Walker Winslow, of Indianapolis and summer resident of Lake Maxinkuckee, made a perfict three-point landing.

    With Mr. WInslow was W. H. Curry, state engineer of Federal projects, who was making an inspection tour of the new airports in Indiana. He visited the Plymouth field before coming to Culver and left here for ROchester.

    In spite of recent rains the inspectors found the field in good condition and made a favorable report on the work done here.

    Mr. Curry stated that he believes the aiport will bea drawing card for the Academy, lake and town as many people will fly here now for short visits that were not possible by automobile.

    The field will be ready for public use by Thanksgiving unless there is an excess of rainfall at that time.

    No plans for the formal opening have been announced, but it is believed it will not be held until spring when the work will all be completed and grass growing on the runways.

1934 - Dec 12 - Regional Aviation Official Inspests Culver AIrport
    Culver's new airport received a distinguished visitor Saturday when Paul D. Meyers, regional aeronautical advisor of the department of commerce, made an inspection of the field that is nearing completion. He laded in a large cabin plane.

    Mr Meyeres praised the lay-out and construction of the airport, but advised that aviators be not encourafed to use the field until more work has been done. He stated that an experienced pilot could land with ease and saftey, but that an amateur might crack up his plane in landinf on the runway that is still rough and now frozen.

The July 17, 1935 Culver Citizen reported the cost of the airport was $53 ,005 federal dollars and $540 local dollars.

1936 - Feb 19 - Town Deeded Aiport Land By Academy
    The town has accepted a deed from the Culver Educational FOundation of the land used for the airport, it was announced by the town board at the meeting Monday night, and a project had been filed to complete the landing field.

    The tranaction was promted by a ruling by federal authorities that no FERA projects would be approved onproperty of private institutions.

    Theofficials indicated that they looked with favor on the completion of the airport, but that the land must be owned by a municipality.

    After accepting the deed with certainrequirements for maintenance, the town dads signed a request for a federal project that will complete the airport and make it available to summer residents of Lake Maxinkuckee, visitors to the Academy and the general public.

    It was been stated that one of the major airlines has agreed to stop its transport planes on the local field upon request when the airport is completed. Also the The News-Sentinel, Thursday, February 20, 1936

1937 - Jan 6 - Widen Runway At Aiport; To Build Hanger
    Work on improving the airport on the land onwed by the town near the Academy on State Road 10 was started here last week, with 30 men being given work.

    It i splanned to widen the 300-foot runways by 200 foot each, and to provide adequate drainage for the large area so that planes may land safely in all kinds of weather.

    The building of a 60X60 brick and steel hangar is also included in the plans, but this will not be started until warmer weather.

    Although a steam shovel is being uesed to handle the dirt on the runways, it is estimated that the project will not be completed for about a year. The federal allotment is reported to be about $49,000.

    The work is being done as a WPA project, with Harry Menser as foreman

1937 - Aug. 18 - Aiport Improvements In State Aid Aviation - -... At the Culver Military Academy airport, owned by the city of Culver, WPA workers have constructed two sodded landing strips, dauparked the prot and have done extenvise grading and drainage work. The port serves a large area of the Lake Maxinkuckee resort population, the army and navu and the surrounding area..

1949 - Creator Aeronautics Commission of Indiana Date - Personal Landing Strip NF= No servicing facilities available

1957 - Oct 2 - Academy Airport is Greatly Improved - The airport at the Culver Military Academy had been greatly improved in may ways furing the past several days. Vistors arriving and departing by plane are bound to receive a much better impression of our community in the future.

1961 - Jun 7 - Plane Makes Crash Landing at Academy Airport
    A single-engine Pipe Comanche airplane made a crash landing at the Academy airport last Sunday afternoon when the pilot, Waltery P. Baker, 50, 521 Washington St. Marine City, Mich., missjudged the north-south runway.

    Overshooting the field, crashing through the fence at the north end of the runway, going down the embankment, the plane finally came to rest on State Road 10. The pilot and two passengers, Mr. and Mrs. J. T. HUber of Detriot, Mich., escaped injury

    Damage to the fence and plane was conservatively set at $300. Shriff Jerry D Greenlee and Lake Patrolman James R. Cox investigated, with the C.A.A. completing the investigation.

In 1971, Culver founded a newly established Aviation program and with its formation the re-building of the old airport ; it was re-named Fleet Field in honor of Reuben Hollis Fleet and the Fleet family

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