Aviation museum presentation details local connection with historic pilot Charles Lindbergh
Middle Park High School students, along with eager local history buffs, gathered this week at the Emily Warner Field Aviation Museum for a presentation by famed pilot Charles Lindbergh — impersonated, of course, for the third straight year by Will O’Donnell — to celebrate the anniversary of Lindbergh’s historic solo transatlantic flight.
“The transatlantic flight was the news of the day,” exclaimed O’Donnell. “Every newspaper around the world that day was filled with the story of the flight… and it’s pretty neat that we have that connection.”
Indeed the stories of Grand County and Lindbergh are undeniably interwoven.
Before his world-famous flight from New York to Paris in 1927, Lindbergh worked as a flight instructor for a gentleman named Harry Knight, a leading banker in St. Louis. Knight owned a ranch — which now resides under Lake Granby — where Lindbergh and his wife, Anne, would spend summers and give flying tours of the county prior to their son’s infamous and tragic kidnapping and murder.
Knight was also essential in funding the Spirit of St. Louis, Lindbergh’s custom-built monoplane he used to make his flight. Lone Eagle Peak, located in the Indian Peaks Wilderness area, is also named for Lindbergh.
“That’s why we have this event because it’s important that our community knows the history of Lindbergh and Grand County,” commented Penny Hamilton, founder of the museum, located in Granby. “One of the most iconic aviators in American history used to fly in Granby. That’s just so unique.”
On top of the Lindbergh presentation, guests were also given a tour of the airfield, and got to head into multiple hangars to check out some planes up close.
The Emily Warner Field Aviation Museum opens for the summer season on June 1, and will close on Sept. 1. The museum is open every Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and is free to all visitors.
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