Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields:
© 2002, © 2014 by Paul Freeman. Revised 3/16/14.
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Casco Bay NAAF (revised 6/4/12) - Fernald Field (revised 4/13/13)
Maheux Airport (Auburn) (revised 12/2/06) - Maheux Airport (Minot) / Maheu Airport (revised 3/25/05)
(Original) Portland Airport / Scarborough Airport (revised 3/16/14) - St. Croix Airport (revised 6/4/12)
Maheux Airport (Auburn), Auburn, ME
44.09 North / 70.27 West (North of Portland, ME)
The original Maheux Airport (just west of Auburn) was depicted as an auxiliary airfield
on the June 1944 Lewiston Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
Photo of the airport while open has not been located.
This little general aviation airport was owned by Roland Maheux.
Clarence Dargie recalled, “Roland Maheux was a very interesting character.
He never had a flying lesson in his life.
He bought what I believe was a Heath Parasol at age 16, climbed into it & taught himself to fly.
He opened his airport during the 1930s.
He kept his first airplane in a farm field south of Taylor Pond.”
The date of construction of the original Maheux Airport has not been determined.
It was evidently established at some point between 1938-41,
as it was not listed among active airfields
in The Airport Directory Company's 1933 or 1938 Airport Directories (according to Chris Kennedy).
The earliest reference which has been located of the Maheux Airport in Auburn
was in the The Airport Directory Company's 1941 Airport Directory (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
It described Maheux Airport as a commercial field, located 1 mile west of Auburn.
The field was said to be rectangular, having a single 1,200' runway,
with buildings to the east & west, including a hangar.
The Maheux Airport may have been temporarily closed at some point between 1941-42
(like many other small civilian airport near the coasts, due to wartime security concerns),
as it was not depicted at all on the February 1942 & December 1942 Lewiston Sectional Charts (according to Chris Kennedy)
or the 1943 5M Regional Aeronautical Chart (according to Chris Kennedy).
The Maheux Airport in Auburn evidently reopened at some point between 1943-44,
as it was listed among active airfields in the April 1944 US Army/Navy Directory of Airfields (courtesy of Ken Mercer).
It described the Maheux Airport in Auburn as having a 1,200' unpaved runway.
The earliest depiction which has been located of the Maheux Airport in Auburn
was on the June 1944 Lewiston Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
It depicted the Maheux Airport in Auburn as an auxiliary airfield.
Note that the 1944 chart also depicted the new Maheux Airport, a few miles to the northwest (in Minot).
Clarence Dargie recalled of the original Maheux Airport, “Other pilots started using it
and it developed into an airport which was later bought by Wilfred Charest, aka, The Butcher.
Maheu had already opened the new Maheux Airport in Minot before selling the Taylor Pond one to Charest.
Rumor had it that bad blood developed between Charest and Maheu over some shady aspects of the airport sale.
The single grass runway ran north & south... about 1,200' long.
There was an office building & a couple of hangars.
The field was owned by Wilfred Charest, a butcher by trade who owned a butcher shop in Auburn.
Thus, the field was more popularly known as The Butcher's.
It was an outlaw field that played host to every misfit pilot in the area,
most of whom had been banned from other local airports for dangerous & unorthodox behavior.
In fact, Roland Maheu cautioned us students
that any of us he caught landing at the Butcher's would be grounded for a month.
I never landed there but did fly in the vicinity to observe the antics of that wild bunch
and one day watched as someone in a Waco UPF-7 did low altitude loops over the center of the field
as airplanes were landing in both directions.
A few days later, one of the Butcher's Boys, as they were known,
was killed in a Stearman along with his passenger when he crashed into the pond
while doing slows rolls on final approach to the runway.”
The original Maheux Airport in Auburn was evidently closed at some point between 1944-45,
as it was no longer depicted at all on the July 1945 Lewiston Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)
or the 1947 USGS topo map.
In a 1953 aerial photo, no recognizable trace of the airfield was still visible.
In a 2004 aerial photo, the former Maheux Airport workshop building was visible in the center of the photo.
No recognizable trace of the airfield clearing was still visible.
A 2006 photo by Norman Houle “of the old airport workshop on the west side of the old Airfield, it is now owned by Columbia River Corp.
Their address is 389 Stevens Mill Rd., Auburn.”
The site of the Maheux Airport in Auburn is located west of the intersection of Stevens Mills Road & Hotel Road.
Maheux Airport (Minot) / Maheu Airport, Minot, ME
44.14 North / 70.35 West (North of Portland, ME)
The second location of the Maheux Airport (northwest of Minot) was depicted as a commercial airport
on the June 1944 Lewiston Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
Photo of the airport while open is not available.
This little general aviation airport replaced the original Maheux Airport in Auburn.
The Maheux Airport in Minot was evidently established at some point between 1943-44,
as no Maheux Airport was depicted on the February 1942 & December 1942 Lewiston Sectional Charts (according to Chris Kennedy)
or the 1943 5M Regional Aeronautical Chart (according to Chris Kennedy).
The earliest reference which has been located to the Maheux Airport in Minot
was in the April 1944 US Army/Navy Directory of Airfields (courtesy of Ken Mercer).
It described the Maheux Airport in Minot as having an 1,800' unpaved runway.
The earliest depiction which has been located of the Maheux Airport in Minot
was on the June 1944 Lewiston Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
It depicted the Maheux Airport in Minot as a commercial airport.
Clarence Dargie continued, “I learned to fly in Maine in 1946 at Maheu's Airport in West Minot.
It was listed as a 1,200' (obviously measured with a stretchable rubber tape) grass runway
running north & south on top of a ridge that sloped down toward the valley floor to the west.
As a result, we had a built-in crosswind from the west.
To the east were woods, to the south, the ground went downhill rather steeply
and was covered with much brush, juniper bushes, etc.
On the north was an apple orchard.
We had an office/club house building, one maintenance hangar and three or four T-hangars.
It was my favorite spot in the world and I spent many, many happy hours there, just hanging out and flying as often as I could.”
Clarence Dargie recalled of Roland Maheu, “He was the most skillful aerobatic pilot I have ever seen.
In a stock J-3 Cub modified only by hanging a stunt prop on it, he could do square loops off the ground,
roll the airplane on takeoff (although the manufacturer's flight manual warned pilots not to attempt to roll a J-3) etc.
Flying solo, he would kill the engine, trim the airplane into a shallow glide,
turn the ignition back on when it quit windmilling, get out & prop the engine,
his right foot jammed between the tire & the wheel strut,
holding on the the right cabane strut down near the panel with his left hand.
In this manner, he could swing his body alongside the engine cowl & reach the prop in whatever position it stopped.
He would then prop the engine back into life & climb back in and continue his routine.
The FAA stopped him from doing that stunt after he had performed it at 57 airshows by the summer of 1947.”
The airport's spelling was still listed as “Maheux” on the December 1948 Lewiston Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
The earliest photo which has been located of the Maheux Airport in Minot was a 1953 aerial photo.
It depicted the field as having a single northwest/southeast grass runway, with a hangar & 7 single-engine aircraft along the east side.
By the time of the May 1954 Lewiston Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy),
the spelling of the airport was depicted as “Maheu”.
It described the field as having a single 2,100' turf runway.
Clarence Dargie recalled of Roland Maheux, “His name was originally spelled Maheux,
but he dropped the x because it was too confusing to many folks.”
Maheu Airport was depicted simply as “Airfield” on the 1956 USGS topo map.
Clarence Dargie recalled of Roland Maheu, “He had many close calls, many forced landings in his 70 years or so of flying
but, to the best of my knowledge, he never damaged an airplane to the point where it could not fly.
In his late 70s, he could no longer pass the physical so he bought himself some ultralights
and continued to fly til he died of natural causes well into his eighties.”
The last aeronautical chart depiction which has been located of Maheux Airport as an active airfield
was on the April 1978 Montreal Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
It depicted Maheu as a public-use airport having a 2,100' unpaved runway.
The 1989 USGS topo map depicted Maheu Airport as having a single 2,100' northwest/southeast unpaved runway,
with a few small buildings along the east side of the field.
Note that it also depicted “Hemond Airport” almost directly across the road as well.
In the 1998 USGS aerial photo, Maheu Airport appeared completely intact, but there was no obvious sign of current aviation usage,
so it is not apparent if the airfield was still in use at this point.
Clarence Dargie explained the airport layout: “The cluster of buildings on the northeast end of the field
are the home (the dark building) that Roland Maheu built there after taking out the apple orchard & extending the runway another 900'.
The runway used to end even with that curved line just below the light colored ramp in front of his house
The cluster on the southeast end, starting with the square light colored northern most building are the old main hangar.
There used to be 3 or 4 T-hangars just north of the main hangar but I see they are now gone.
South of that, on the other side of the entrance to the airport by the maintenance hangar is the club house/office building.
It is shaped sort of like an inverted T.”
The date of closure of Maheu Airport has not been determined.
It was no longer depicted on the 2005 Sectional Chart as an active airfield.
Maheu Airport is located southwest of the intersection of Route 119 & Jackass Annie Road.
St. Croix Airport, Baring, ME
45.13 North / 67.31 West (Northeast of Bangor, ME)
The St. Croix Airport, as depicted on the 1948 Lewiston Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
This small general aviation airport was located less than a half-mile from the Canadian border.
St. Croix Airport was evidently established at some point between 1944-48,
as it was not depicted on the June 1944 Lewiston Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy).
The earliest depiction of the St. Croix Airport which has been located
was on the 1948 Lewiston Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
It depicted St. Croix as having a 1,900' unpaved runway.
The 1949 USGS topo map depicted St. Croix as having a single unpaved northwest/southeast runway, labeled simply as “Airfield”.
The runway at St. Croix was evidently paved at some point between 1948-72,
as the 1972 Flight Guide (courtesy of Chris Kennedy) depicted described St. Croix
as having a single 3,000' paved Runway 17/35.
St. Croix became a private field by 1976,
as that is how it was described in the 1976 AOPA Airport Directory (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
The airfield was described as consisting of a single 2,800' asphalt Runway 17/35.
In the 1996 USGS aerial photo, a single light aircraft was visible parked at the northwest end of the runway.
St. Croix Airport apparently was closed at some point between 1996-2004,
as it was no longer depicted on the Sectional Chart, or listed in the Airport/Facility Directory as of 2004.
A July 25, 2007 USDA aerial view looking southeast along the former St. Croix runway showed it to remain intact,
along with several buildings at the northwestern end of the field.
The site of St. Croix Airport is located southeast of the intersection of Route 1 & Center Street.
(Original) Portland Airport / Scarborough Airport, Scarborough, ME
43.57 North / 70.36 West (Southwest of Portland, ME)
Several planes in front of the newly built hangar at Scarborough Airport in 1928 (photo by Ira Milliken).
According to the Scarborough Historical Society, the Scarborough Airport was the brainchild of Chester Jordan,
an avid aviator & president of the Portland Chamber of Commerce.
He began to dream establishing an airport for Portland in the early twenties when flight was still a novelty
and much of the local action was taking place on the sands of Pine Point & Old Orchard Beaches.
Jordan found an enthusiastic audience in the person of Phillips Payson,
who had succeeded his father as president of the H. M. Payson Investment Banking firm in Portland.
Payson had learned to fly while in the Army Air Corps during WW1
and had continued his interest in aviation after returning to civilian life.
Jordan's dream became a reality when Payson took over the practical aspects of the concept
through incorporation & the sale of stock.
The two men purchased the site off Manson Libby Road in 1926 from George Eastman & Lida Libby
and hired a contractor, the W. E. Arthur Company, to prepare the site & erect several structures.
The famous visit of Charles Lindbergh took place over the weekend of July 23, 1927
while the Scarborough airfield was still very much under construction.
In spite of that, several thousand patient flying enthusiasts turned up to await the arrival of their hero
in what turned out to be a pea-soup fog.
Lindbergh arrived at the site & circled the field for more than an hour,
hoping for a break in the fog; although he caught occasional glimpses of the tracks of the PS&P railroad,
which skirted the eastern end of the runway,
he ultimately decided to spend the night at Concord, NH which was in the clear,
and try again the following day, Sunday.
Sunday proved no better, weatherwise, for the fog persisted.
Yet fans by the thousands returned & continued their patient vigil.
Again, The Lone Eagle circled the field for nearly an hour,
then flew southeast over Old Orchard Beach.
A hole developed in the overcast just long enough for the aviator to land the Spirit of St. Louis on the sand shingle.
Mindful of the waiting throngs, Lindbergh was whisked by motorcade to the Scarborough Airport
where he addressed the throng, shook as many hands as he could, and continued the motorcade to Portland.
The Scarborough Airport was opened in 1928,
with a huge air show & open house over the weekend of September 27-28, 1928.
The air show was a wild success.
The weather beamed, the flyers outdid themselves, the daring parachute jumpers all landed safely,
and the only casualty was someone in the parking lot who suffered a bruised knee
when a motorist backed out of his parking place & bumped gently into her.
The cooperation of the Town of Scarborough was sought to improve the access road,
and the town meeting in 1928 voted to spend $5,000 to do so.
Nevertheless, the final result was a subject of ridicule in the press during the big weekend in September 1928,
when several front page photos sarcastically showed "the class A roadway"
as a rutted, uneven, gravel track extending a mile & a quarter from Route One to the Airport complex.
Shortly after Ira Milliken took the above 1928 photograph of the hangar,
the blank white 65 foot wide space over the hangar doors was lettered "PORTLAND AIRPORT".
A similar legend adorned the roof so as to be clearly visible to approaching aircraft.
The hangar suffered extensive damage during a freak windstorm in December, 1934;
apparently someone opened at least one of the great rolling doors which all moved toward Dunstan
long enough for the building to fill during a gust & the entire rear wall exploded outward, damaging several aircraft.
This wooden/glass wall was subsequently replaced with a more substantial masonry/glass/steel curtain.
The Curtiss Wright Company was prominent in the active years of the airport,
operating a flying school & contributing expertise to administration.
As an adjunct to their presence, the company decided to build a bunkhouse nearby
for what they anticipated would be a flood of young men desiring to learn how to fly.
Taking on this franchise was Halsey Gulick,
whose family achieved fame via the Luther Gulick Camps at Sebago Lake.
They built a log building nearby which today is the home of Post 76, American Legion.
Upon completion, the school only managed to enroll 2 students who completed their courses in 1929.
The crash of the stock market that year doomed the project
and the building was sold & subsequently became the Plantation Restaurant.
The original Portland Airport, as depicted on the Boston Chamber of Commerce's
1931 "Airports & Landing Fields of New England" (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
It described the field as a commercial airport, located in the town of Scarboro.
The field was said to consist of a 193-acre triangular sod & clay field,
with 3 grass runways (with the longest being a 3,600' northeast/southwest strip).
The field was also said to have an 80' x 60' hangar,
and the commercial operator was listed as Curtiss-Wright Flying Service.
An aerial view looking north at Scarborough Airport,
from The Airport Directory Company's 1933 Airports Directory (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
The directory described the Scarborough Airport as having two sod runways:
3,600' northeast/southwest & 3,000' northwest/southeast.
A single hangar was depicted west of the runway intersection.
The manager was listed as Sanford Chandler,
and the operator was listed as the Portland Flying Service.
The field was depicted as the "Portland" Airport on the 1934 U.S. Navy Aviation Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
Within 10 years of its grand opening, the Scarborough Airport became too limited
to accommodate the larger, increasingly powerful aircraft being developed.
Hemmed in by the railroad tracks to the east, by Moses Brook to the North,
U.S. Route One to the West, and the great marsh to the south, relocation became a priority.
Operations moved to Stroudwater in the late 1930s & the Scarborough complex became a flying school.
The Airport Directory Company's 1937 Airports Directory (courtesy of Bob Rambo)
described Scarborough Airport as having a triangular sod & clay landing area.
The last photo which has been located of Scarborough Airport was a 10/5/40 USGS aerial view,
which depicted a single hangar on the northwest edge of an irregularly-shaped grass airfield.
Scarborough was depicted as a commercial airport on the November 1944 Boston Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy),
but it was misspelled as "Scarboro".
The date of closure of Scarborough Airport is not certain due to some contradictory indications.
It was depicted as “Abandoned Airport” on the 1944 USGS topo map.
However, Scarborough Airport was reportedly the site of numerous air shows in the late 1940s,
but ultimately shut down altogether in the 1950s.
A 1956 aerial photo showed the irregular outline of the Scarborough Airport property, and the airport circle marking.
There was a single hangar on the northwest side of the field.
The field appeared abandoned, as there were no aircraft visible on the field, but it was intact.
The Scarborough Airport was no longer depicted at all on the 1956 USGS topo map
or the 1960 Boston Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).
The hangar became a storage warehouse for several enterprises,
Humpty Dumpty notably which stored empty cans & packaging materials there.
Then, in the early 1960s, the hangar was destroyed in a spectacular nighttime fire,
which left little but a pile of twisted steel & broken bricks among the ashes.
The remaining buildings were demolished or moved elsewhere.
The site of Scarborough Airport was labeled "Airport (Abandoned)" on the 1978 USGS topo map.
In the 1998 USGS aerial photo, the site bore no recognizable sign of having been a former airport.
Today, the site is the home of the Scarborough Industrial Park.
The Public Works complex occupies the grassy spot upon which Ira Milliken stood to snap his historic photo above,
and a Butler-type building now rises where the Lone Eagle waved to thousands of spectators.
The site of Scarborough Airport is located southeast of the intersection of Manson Libby Road & Washington Avenue.
Thanks to Chris Kennedy for pointing out this location.
Casco Bay Naval Auxiliary Air Facility, Long Island, ME
43.7 North / 70.15 West (East of Portland, ME)
"(Navy) Casco Bay", as depicted on the November 1944 Boston Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
This small seaplane facility was built by the Navy in 1942 on Long Island
to support the aviation activities of the surface fleet in Casco Bay.
Warren Brayley reported that the land for the seaplane facility was purchased by the Navy from his Grandfather, Elwin Doughty, in 1942.
The Casco Bay seaplane facility consisted of 300' square paved parking apron, a single hangar, and a seaplane ramp.
Most of the facility's personnel were housed in summer residences which were leased from their civilian owners,
with a total capacity of 87 personnel.
After the loss of a PBY Catalina flying boat in 1942, Casco Bay was deemed unsuitable for PBY operations.
In spite of that, Casco Bay was commissioned in the following year as an auxiliary of NAS Brunswick.
For the next 2 years, the base was primarily charged
with the support of catapult seaplanes assigned to surface naval vessels.
The earliest depiction of the Casco Bay seaplane base which has been located
was on the November 1944 Boston Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
The 1944 USGS topo map depicted the seaplane hangar at Casco Bay,
but did not specifically identify the seaplane base.
A WW2-era National Archives aerial view looking southeast at Casco Bay NAAF
depicted a single arch-roof hangar & several smaller buildings on a paved apron, with a seaplane ramp leading into the water.
A fire destroyed Casco Bay's hangar & Officer in Charge's quarters in early 1946.
The base was closed later that year, and the property was sold back into private ownership.
However, according to Warren Brayley (grandson of original property owner Elwin Doughty),
many of the original pre-war property owners thought that they would regain ownership of their land,
but that did not turn out to be the case.
A 1956 aerial photo depicted the foundation of the hangar,
with several smaller buildings still standing along the periphery of the seaplane apron.
The 1957 USGS topo map still labeled the property as “U.S. Naval Reservation”.
As of the 1998 USGS aerial photo, the seaplane ramp & apron still existed.
The site of the seaplane base is at Doughty Landing, at the end of Doughty Lane,
just north of the little town of Mariner.
Thanks to Lloyd Momborquette for pointing out this location.
Fernald Field, Winterport, ME
44.65 North / 68.91 West (Southwest of Bangor, ME)
A circa 1943-45 aerial view looking north at Fernald Field from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).
The date of construction of Fernald Field is unknown.
It was apparently built at some point between 1942-44,
as it was not depicted on the December 1942 Lewiston Sectional Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).
The earliest depiction which has been located of Fernald Field
was a circa 1943-45 aerial view looking north from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).
It depicted Roy L. Fernald Field as having 2 paved runways.
The April 1944 US Army/Navy Directory of Airfields (courtesy of Ken Mercer)
described Roy L. Fernald Field as having a 4,000' hard-surface runway.
According to Norman Houle, Fernald Field may have been constructed as a takeoff alternate
for military aircraft departing from Runway 22 at Dow Field in Bangor.
However, none of the many chart depictions which have been located of this field ever depicted it as a military field.
Fernald Field was depicted as an auxiliary airfield on the June 1944 Lewiston Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
The 1945 Sectional Chart (courtesy of John Voss) depicted Fernald as an auxiliary airfield.
The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described Roy L. Fernald Field
as a 517 acre L-shaped property having 2 bituminous concrete 4,000' runways, oriented ENE/WSW & NNW/SSE.
The field was said to not have any hangars, and to be owned by the City of Winterport.
The 1948 USGS topo map depicted Fernald Field as having two 4,000' paved runways,
with a small paved ramp at the southwest corner of the field.
Fernald Field was depicted on the 1948 Lewiston Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy)
as having a 4,000' hard-surface runway.
Fernald Field was still depicted as a civilian airport on the May 1954 Lewiston Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy),
but the airspace over the field was surrounded by an unusual circular Caution Area (C-133) centered on the field.
The chart's description of Caution Area C-133 indicated that it was used by the Maine National Guard for "Drone aircraft operation".
Was this in reference to target drone operations?
Fernald Field was no longer depicted on the 1957 USGS topo map.
Fernald Field was described in 1962 AOPA Airport Directory
as having 2 paved runways, and the operator was listed as the Town of Winterport.
Fernald Field, as depicted on the 1964 Lewiston Sectional Chart (courtesy of John Voss).
The last map depiction which has been located Fernald Field as an active airport was on the 1965 USGS topo map.
Fernald was listed in the "low use airports" section of the 1971 Flight Guide (according to Chris Kennedy).
It was described as having a single 4,000' paved Runway 17/35,
along with the remarks "Drag racing May-Nov."
Fernald Field was apparently closed at some point between 1971-76,
as it was not listed among active airfields in the 1976 AOPA Airports USA directory (according to Chris Kennedy).
The 1988 USGS topo map labeled the field as an "Abandoned Airfield".
In the 1995 USGS aerial photo, both paved runways of the abandoned Fernald Field still remained in excellent condition.
There appeared to be one small building at the southeast end of the east/west runway,
but its location immediately adjacent to the side of the runway makes it presumed to have been built after the site's airfield days.
The site is now apparently used for drag racing as the "Winterport Dragway".
Fernald Field is located northeast of the intersection of Route 139 & Boston Road.
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