Origins of the Patterson Airport

Stop 2 of 6 in the Wedell-Williams Airport in Patterson tour

After the formation of the Wedell-Williams Air Service, Harry Williams established a base of operations on what was once Calumet Plantation by clearing a sugarcane field. This airport offered hangars and a grass landing field, but it also featured the facilities for building Wedell’s famous racing planes. Though none of the original buildings exist today, some of the present buildings occupy, more or less, the same places as the originals.

Building the hangars and planes provided some construction work for the locals, thus strengthening the economy. As seen in Patterson, other towns throughout the United States built airports to attract business and visitors.

The Wedell-Williams Airport in Patterson exemplifies other rural airports built during the Golden Age of Aviation. They typically had few buildings and a turf runway, but little else was necessary for an airport. Though the accommodations may seem paltry, the airport was still equipped to accept chartered, cargo, and passenger flights.

Images

Map