Here’s a news release we sent today about next Saturday’s beacon tower memorial dedication. Come on out on the 18th at 10:30 a.m.
Chapter 431 of the Experimental Aircraft Association at the Brodhead Airport will dedicate a memorial to charter members of the chapter who have “Flown West” (passed away) on Saturday, July 18, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. The memorial resides in the replica generator shed near the newly erected Airway Beacon Tower along Airport Road.
The historic beacon tower was once used as an air navigation aid to early airmail and airline pilots in the 1920s and 30s before modern navigation methods were used. Spaced approximately every 20 miles along routes between major cities, these towers once dotted the landscape. In fact, one stood for years on the corner of Riemer Road and Decatur-Sylvester Road in Decatur Township, on the route between Chicago and St. Paul.
EAA Chapter 431 acquired an original beacon tower several years ago and Sebastian Adams recently restored it as an Eagle Scout project. The adjacent generator shed is a replica built to original plans as another Eagle Scout project by Holden Whitledge, and Brett Hammon completed landscaping and fencing around the tower as a third Eagle Scout project.
The memorial will eventually honor all Chapter 431 members as well as the founders and early pioneers of Brodhead Airport who have Flown West. The dedication takes place during the annual Pietenpol/Hatz Reunion at the airport, and will feature a short speech and tours of the project. Friends of Brodhead Airport and those interested in the project are welcome to attend.