Minnesota Historical Society

Winging It at a Country Crossroads

$ 15.95

The Ups and Downs of Minnesota's First Real Airport: Snelling and Larpenteur, Rose Township 1919-1930

A history of Curtiss Field, formerly on the southeast corner of Snelling and Larpenteur avenues in what is Falcon Heights, Minnesota. This little-known airfield was, in the late 'teens and early 1920s, the aviation capital of Minnesota.

Charles Lindbergh dropped in, Speed Holman readied his race plane, and teenage daredevil Phoebe Fairgrave set a world's parachute record there. Hundreds and sometimes thousands of people flocked to the field on summer Sundays to watch the airshows and take their first plane rides.

The book tells the story of Curtiss Northwest and Bill Kidder, the P.T. Barnum-style manager who ran it in its glory years, and uses the field as a backdrop to events in a growing metropolitan area during the 1920s.

Nearly two dozen historic photos and entertaining stories bring a nearly forgotten era to exuberant life.

A replica of a Curtiss Jenny biplane now hangs in the rotunda of the Minnesota History Center.


  • Author: Roger Bergerson
  • Paperback, spiral binding, 66 pages


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