Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields:
© 2002, © 2014 by Paul Freeman. Revised 2/23/14.
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Biglow Airfield (revised 12/25/13) - Clickenger Airport / South Columbus Airport (revised 2/23/14) - Norton Field (revised 5/20/12)
Price Field (revised 2/23/14) - (Original) Springfield Municipal Airport (revised 7/19/11)
Price Field, Columbus, OH
39.92 North / 82.9 West (Southeast of Downtown Columbus, OH)
Price Airport, as depicted on the 1943 USGS topo map.
The date of establishment of Price Airport has not been determined.
The earliest depiction which has been located of Price Airport was on the 1943 USGS topo map.
The earliest photo which has been located of Price Field
was a 9/28/43 aerial view looking north from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).
It depicted Price Field as having an open grass landing area.
The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described Price Field
as a 100 acre irregularly-shaped field having 4 sod runways, the longest being a 2,200' northeast/southwest strip.
The field was said to have a single 105' x 37' metal hangar,
and to be owned & operated by private interests.
According to Wesley Conn, “Price Field was an 88 acre square field.
It provided flight training under the GI Bill.
They had grass runways in the summer & dirt in the winter. They had corner-to-corner runways.
The southeast was a little further north to clear the hangar.
They also had east/west & north/south [runways].
I soloed on the north heading which had electric lines on the approach.”
Wesley continued, “I was just a kid hanging around the airport all day, almost every day.
W.W. Cohen was the manager. I think he leased the property from the owner,
who lived in a house in the woods on the southwest corner of the property.
They had 6 or 8 Aeronca Champions, a J-3, a J-4, 1941 Bellanca Cruiser with a 90 horse Le Blond radial engine.
Chief Pilot was Harry Jorden. He also taught the ground school.
Another instructor was Ken Prutsman, and there was Col. Frank Ward, he was Commanding Officer of the air wing of the OH National Guard.
He couldn’t get enough flying on duty so he worked as flight instructor in his off time.”
Wesley continued, “The G.W. Holms Company in Columbus bought & reconditioned a few N3Ns & kept of them at Price Dield.
Dail Matheni got his flight training there & later become the company pilot for Holmes.
Zack Mosley, creator of Smiling Jack comics, tied down his purple SR-7 there for a few weeks. This was quite a spectator draw.
A couple of years went buy & I got hired as a line boy at 35 cents an hour.
Charley Britt was the chief mechanic & the A&E. I finally started my flight training.
The airplane cost me $3/hour, and the instructor $2/hr.
Col. Ward was my instructor & he wouldn’t take the $2 instructor's fee. All the money I made went to flying.
I do not have pictures of all this – I wish I did, but what teenager back in those days would be doing with a camera?”
The 1953 Huntington Sectional Chart depicted Price Field as having a 2,000' unpaved runway.
A 3/1/53 USGS aerial view showed Price Field to have 3 grass runways, with a small building & 10 light planes on the southeast side.
The 1955 USGS topo map showed Price Field to have 3 unpaved runways & several small buildings along the south side.
In 1961 Jerry Mock became the first woman licensed by OH to manage an airport, Price Field, a job she held for about a year.
On Sundays she was there alone, which meant fueling airplanes, tying them down, and even doing despised household chores like making coffee.
“The male instructors did not like a woman telling them what to do”, Mock recalled. “I did not worry about it & ignored them.”
The last photo which is available showing Price Field still in operation was a 5/6/63 USGS aerial view.
The east/west runway appeared more distinct than the others, and there were several dozen light aircraft on the southeast side.
A 2nd hangar (on the middle of the south side of the field) had been added at some point between 1953-63.
The last photo which has been located showing Price Field still in operation was a 1971 aerial view.
There were 19 light aircraft on the southeast side.
The last depiction which has been located showing Price Field was on the 1985 USGS topo map.
It depicted Price Field as having 3 unpaved runways & several small buildings along the south side.
The 1994 USGS topo map no longer depicted Price Field, just a clearing,
but the 2 hangars remained depicted on the southeast side.
A 1994 USGS aerial photo depicted 2 hangars remaining on the south & southeast side.
A 2002 aerial photo showed the hangar on the southeast side had been removed at some point between 1994-2002.
A 5/28/10 aerial view showed the site of Price Field remained clear, with 1 hangar remaining on the south side.
A circa 2011 aerial view looking west at a hangar which remains standing along the south side of the Price Field site.
The hangar on the southeast side had been removed.
A circa 2011 aerial view looking north at the remains of the ramp & the hangar foundation on the southeast side of the Price Field site.
Wesley Conn reported in 2013, “The [southeast] hangar is gone now but looking close,
the concrete floor can still be seen as well as the round circle of the gas island.”
The site of Price Field is located northwest of the intersection of Refugee Road & Courtright Road.
(Original) Springfield Municipal Airport, Springfield, OH
39.9 North / 83.73 West (Northeast of Dayton, OH)
Springfield Airport, as depicted on the 1928 Air Navigation Map (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
The original airport for the town of Springfield was located approximately 4.5 miles southeast of the town.
The date of construction of the original Springfield Airport has not been determined.
The earliest depiction of the field which has been located
was on the 1928 Air Navigation Map (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
The 1934 Air Pilots Register (courtesy of Michael Banks)
depicted Springfield as having 2 macadam runways:
a 2,850' northeast/southwest strip & a 2,450' east/west strip.
A number of buildings were depicted on the northeast corner of the field.
The earliest photo which has been located of Springfield Municipal Airport
was an undated aerial view in The Airport Directory Company's 1937 Airport Directory (courtesy of Bob Rambo).
The directory depicted Springfield Municipal as having 2 macadam runways:
a 2,660' northeast/southwest strip & a 2,375' east/west strip.
Several buildings were located east of the runway intersection.
The April 1944 US Army/Navy Directory of Airfields (courtesy of Ken Mercer)
described Springfield Airport as having a 2,700' runway.
The field was said to conduct "Extensive training."
The last photo to be located showing Springfield Municipal Airport in operation
was circa 1943-45 aerial view looking north from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).
It depicted Springfield Municipal as having 2 grass runways, with 2 hangars on the east side.
The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described Springfield Municipal Airport
as a 126 acre irregularly-shaped field having 2 gravel runways, the longest being a 2,700' northeast/southwest strip.
The field was said to have 3 hangars, the largest being a 80' x 60' metal structure.
Springfield Municipal was described as being owned by the City of Springfield & operated by private interests.
According to Durward Lewis, “There was a great deal of flying activity at the old airport,
as the operator ran a CPT [Civilian Pilot Training] program during the war.”
The May 1945 Huntington Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)
still depicted the original Springfield Municipal Airport.
The original Springfield Municipal Airport was apparently abandoned at some point between 1945-51,
and the property was reused as a fairgrounds.
Phil Brust recalled, “When I was five (1951), my parents took me to a circus at the fairgrounds.
There was an abandoned B-25 or B-26 still on the property
and my father boosted me up into the cockpit (tragic how surplus equipment was treated back then).
So the airport had been converted to fairgrounds by 1951.”
The 1953 Flight Chart (courtesy of Scott O'Donnell)
depicted a new Springfield Airport on the southwest side of the town,
but no longer depicted the original field to the southeast.
The new airport had much longer runways.
Presumably the original Springfield Airport was constrained from being expanded with longer runways.
A 1959 aerial photo showed the former airport having been converted to a fairgrounds,
with several buildings having been added around the runway intersection.
The 1962 USGS topo map labeled the site of the former airport as the Clark County Fairgrounds.
As seen in the 1994 USGS aerial photo,
the 2 paved former runways were still completely intact,
and at least 2 original hangars (the arch-roofed buildings in the northeast corner of the photo) still remained standing.
A large number of more recent buildings had been constructed for the fairgrounds around the runways
(including one built over the runway).
The former runways of the Springfield Airport were still quite recognizable on the 1995 USGS topo map.
Dave Noordeloos reported in 2004, "I was on a trip in Springfield a few weeks ago
and stumbled on the Clark County Fairgrounds while on the way back to the highway.
I noticed some old hangars & a very wide concourse for the fairgrounds & pulled in."
Durward Lewis reported in 2005, “The runways are still there.”
A circa 2006 aerial view looking north at the 2 hangars which remain at the site of the original Springfield Municipal Airport.
The pavement of the 2 former runways is also visible at the top & bottom.
A July 2011 photo by Tom Townsend looking west along the former Springfield Municipal Airport runway.
Tom reported, “It is now the site of the Clark County Fairgrounds.
I looked up & down both runways for any sign of light fixtures, but if they were there, they've long been paved over.
The runways are both still there in their entirety, but used for parking, the midway, and a building has been built on one of them.”
The site of the original Springfield Municipal Airport is located
west of the intersection of Interstate 70 & Route 41.
Norton Field, Columbus, OH
39.97 North / 82.88 West (South of Port Columbus Airport, OH)
An undated aerial view of Norton Field from The Airport Directory Company's 1937 Airport Directory (courtesy of Bob Rambo).
According to the Fall 2000 "OH Aviation News" (via Billy Spiropoulos),
the genesis of Norton Field began with the formation of the Aero Club of Columbus,
shortly after the end of the First World War.
After the first convention of Associated Aero Clubs of Ohio in 1920,
various members set about the serious business of getting an airfield established in the Columbus area.
A 100-acre property was located & a 10 year lease was secured from Jim Lamp & paid for by the Pure Oil Company.
This property was then provided to the War Department.
For $1 a year as the community’s part of the deal,
Norton Field was equipped by the War Department with 2 steel hangars, a fueling dock & a beacon light on a tower.
Regulations stated an Army field must be named after a deceased flyer.
An outstanding local person eminently fit the need for the name.
Fred Norton was an outstanding Ohio State University student athlete
who had gone on to become a member of the 27th "Eagle" Pursuit Squadron in France,
and was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross & the French Croix de Guerre with Palm.
Thus, Norton Field was named for this heroic pilot who was also the first Ohio State graduate to be killed in the war.
Norton Field was dedicated on 6/30/23.
The Army furnished aircraft to establish the 108th Observation Squadron, to be used by Army pilots.
Although the squadron was administered under Ft. Hayes
it also accommodated any civilian flying activities that adhered to the Army’s regulations.
The Aero Club secured a WW1 surplus barrack from Ft. Hayes purchased for $1
to later be refurbished for use as a clubhouse.
The Army was experimenting in establishing model airways (a scheduled military air service over established air routes)
and the ability to conduct operations at night.
Thus the 1st Lighted Airway (which later became the model for the airways system of the US)
was established with beacon lights between McCook & Norton Fields.
The experiments were flown regularly to perfect aviation lighting systems & night flying.
Experiments in aerial photography at night were also conducted.
Over the succeeding 6 years, many prominent pilots utilized this airfield
including Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh, and the Wright Brothers.
In 1928, a Columbus native & Ohio State University student Curtis LeMay obtained a commission in the Army
and while awaiting his application to Army flight school took unofficial instructional flights at Norton Field.
He went on to flight training in the fall of 1928 as a National Guard Officer
and after graduation was recommissioned as an Army Pursuit Pilot at Selfridge Field.
While there he arranged to return to serve at Norton Field as Assistant Engineering & Operations Officer
in order to complete his final quarter at Ohio State.
He later went on to fame as the Cold War commander of the Strategic Air Command (SAC).
Charles Lindbergh returned to Norton Field on May 29 1928
as a Technical Advisor for Transcontinental Air Transport in surveying a cross country train-plane route.
He found the field to be too small for TAT’s needs
and recommended the city find a larger facility adjacent to the railroad tracks.
This brought about the construction of Port Columbus in 1929.
In 1929 the Army set up & conducted a large scale mock war maneuver
of Red & Blue Army & Air Forces between the cities of Dayton & Columbus.
Between May 15th & 25th air fleets composing more than 200 aircraft (the largest up to this date)
were based at Wilbur Wright Field & Norton Field,
and were employed in mock air warfare in this maneuver.
The Army remained at Norton Field for 2 more years until relocating to larger facilities at Port Columbus in June 1931,
effectively abandoning Norton Field.
Harold Distelhorst came to the rescue of Norton Field in October 1931 & took over the operation.
In so doing he promoted & hosted such aviation activities as Air Carnivals, Air Shows, Air Races
and several times did emergency medical flights in the romantic years of civil aviation.
Distelhorst kept vigorous activity at the airport until the Denton family of Northway Cab Company took control in 1936.
The Denton family & Herb Stump set up the Mid West Aviation Corporation,
which operated Norton Field through the WW2 days.
The earliest depiction which has been located of Norton Field
was an undated aerial view from The Airport Directory Company's 1937 Airport Directory (courtesy of Bob Rambo).
It depicted the field as a square grass field with 2 buildings at the northwest corner.
The Airport Directory Company's 1937 Airport Directory (courtesy of Bob Rambo)
described Norton Field as consisting of a 2,250' x 2,000' rectangular sod field.
A single hangar was said to be in the northwest corner,
with "Norton Field" painted on the roof.
An advertisement for Norton Field from The Airport Directory Company's 1937 Airport Directory (courtesy of Bob Rambo).
Norton Field was depicted as a commercial airport on the June 1939 Huntington Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
Norton Field was depicted as a commercial airport on the 1941 Regional Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
An aerial view looking north at Norton Field from The Airport Directory Company's 1941 Airport Directory (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
The field was described as a 100 acres square sod field.
A hangar was said to have "Norton Field Midwest Aviation Corp." painted on the roof.
During the Second World War, Norton Field conducted a very active training program,
under the government sponsored War Training Service & Civilian Pilot Training programs,
utilizing a large fleet of training aircraft.
These government programs provided an introduction to the regular Army & Navy pilot training programs.
A circa 1941-42 photo (courtesy of Mark Hess) of Carl McGary, instructor at Norton Field,
in front of a Piper Cub with students Walter Beaver, Keith Fields, Bernard Hatch, and and Bob Chew.
A WW2-era photo of a collection of training planes in front of the hangar of Midwest Aviation Corporation at Norton Field,
along with the taxicabs of the Northway Cab Company also owned by the Denton family.
Norton Field, as depicted on the 1943 USGS topo map.
Norton Field was described by the April 1944 US Army/Navy Directory of Airfields (courtesy of Ken Mercer)
as having a 2,800' unpaved runway,
and it was listed as conducting Army flight operations.
Parks Aircraft Company purchased the Norton Field property from the Lamp family in 1944.
A 1945 view of several Pipers in front of the Norton Field control tower & hangar (courtesy of the Whitehall Historical Society).
An aerial view of Norton Field from the Haire Publishing Company's 1945 Airport Directory (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
The directory described Norton Field as having a 2,200' x 2,000' sod field, with a single hangar.
The manager was listed as Herman Swingle,
and the operator was listed as the Northway Flying Service.
The Denton family moved their operation from Norton to their new field in 1947.
After the move Norton Field continued to be used for the operations
of H. R. "Dutch" Swingle (who operated a flight training school)
and Vern Acheson of the Columbus Aircraft & Sales Company.
The last photo which has been located showing Norton Field in operation
was a 1949 aerial view of several aircraft parked next to the Norton Field hangar (courtesy of the OH Historical Society).
The date of closure of Norton Field has not been determined,
but the airfield property was sold to become a housing subdivision on 11/16/49.
Norton Field was no longer depicted on the 1953 Huntington Sectional Chart.
A 1957 aerial view showed housing covering the site of Norton Field.
The control tower reportedly survived longer than the rest of the airfield buildings,
but the last remaining original Norton Field building was demolished in December, 1979.
The original role of the site of Norton Field has been somewhat remembered,
as the 1994 USGS topo map depicted a "Norton Field Playground" at the location of the former airfield,
and some of the residential streets on the site have names including "Norton Lane",
"Rickenbacker Avenue", "Langley Avenue", and Wright Avenue".
The 1994 USGS aerial photo showed that the site of Norton Field had been covered by a housing development,
and not a trace of the airport remained visible.
The Ohio Bicentennial Commission dedicated a Norton Field Historical Marker at the site on June 24, 2000.
A 2004 photo by Christopher Trott of the Norton Field historical plaque.
A 2004 photo by Christopher Trott of the site of Norton Field.
Christopher reported, "They are trying to sell the field that's still there for retail development.
I don't know how long or if it'll be sold & developed, but that's the last signs of Norton Field as it is."
As seen in a 2006 aerial photo,
the site of Norton Field has been covered by a housing development,
and not a trace of the airport remains visible.
The site of Norton Field is located southwest of the intersection of East Broad Street & Hamilton Road.
Thanks to Billy Spiropoulos for pointing out this field.
Clickenger Airport / South Columbus Airport (4I2), Columbus, OH
39.88 North / 82.97 West (North of Rickenbacker Airport, OH)
"Clickenger" was depicted as an auxiliary airfield on the June 1939 Huntington Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
This small general aviation field was originally named Clickenger Airport.
The date of construction of Clickenger Airport has not been determined.
The earliest reference to the field which has been located
was in The Airport Directory Company's 1933 Airport Directory (courtesy of Chris Kennedy),
which described Clickenger as a commercial airport having 3 graded earth runways
within a 3,200' x 1,900' rectangular field.
A hangar was said to have "Clickenger Airport" painted on the roof.
The Airport Directory Company's 1938 Airport Directory (courtesy of Chris Kennedy)
described Clickenger as an "Auxiliary" airfield having 2 sod runways,
with the longest being a 2,640' north/south strip.
A hangar was said to be located along the north side of the field.
The earliest depiction which has been located of Clickenger Airport
was on the June 1939 Huntington Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
It depicted Clickenger as an auxiliary airfield.
Clickenger was depicted as a commercial airport
on the 1941 Regional Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
The earliest photo which has been located of Clickenger Airport
was a 9/28/43 aerial view looking north from the 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock).
It depicted Clickenger as an irregularly-shaped grass field with several hangars along the northwest side.
Clickenger Airport, as depicted on the 1943 USGS topo map.
The 1945 AAF Airfield Directory (courtesy of Scott Murdock) described Clickenger Airport
as a 40 acre rectangular field having a 2,600' x 1,600' sod all-way airfield.
The field was said to have a single 80' x 48' wood & concrete block hangar.
Clickenger was described as being owned & operated by private interests.
Clickenger Airport was described by the 1944 US Army/Navy Directory of Airfields (courtesy of Ken Mercer)
as having a 2,600' runway.
A 1945 aerial view looking north at Clickenger Airport (courtesy of Don Johnson).
A 1946 photo of a Porterfield Collegiate in front of a hangar at Clickenger Airport (courtesy of Don Johnson).
Richard Christ recalled, “I was stationed at Lockbourne AFB from 1951-54.
During that time I joined the SAC Flying Club which was based at Clickenger Airport, and obtained my private license (1952).
During the time I was there, Vern Atchison was the manager/FBO owner
and the Strategic Air Command Flying Flub was one of his best customers.
The club charged it's members $4/hr dual for flying the planes they had and $2/hr for solo, using instructors who were also members.
My license cost about $125 total! Almost unbelievable compared to todays costs.
I assume that Vern made a fair amount of money by selling fuel to us & on the maintenance of our airplanes.
I was one of the earlier members when the club had only a J3 Cub & an Aeronca Champ
but the membership grew fast, and they added several more Champs & a new Mooney Mite.
The Mooney was a blast to fly but the club didn't keep it too long because on 2 occasions it was landed gear up
by newly licenced & inexperience members & had to be shipped back to the Mooney factory for repairs.
Thank goodness I wasn't one of them.
I still have an 8x10 photo of myself standing in front of it when the club auctioned it off.
$1 per ticket, and 6 for $5 according to the sign.
The demise of the airport was inevitable because of the city growing around it.
The railroad yards off the end of the main runway were always a worry in case of an engine failure, because of nowhere to land safely.”
The 1953 Huntington Sectional Chart depicted Clickenger as having a 2,700' unpaved runway.
The 1953 Flight Chart (courtesy of Scott O'Donnell)
described Clickenger as having a 2,700' unpaved runway.
A 1953 aerial view looking north at Clickenger Airport depicted dozens of light planes parked on the grass in front of a hangar.
The layout of Clickenger Airport, as depicted in the 1955 OH Airport Directory (courtesy of Stephen Mahaley).
The directory described Clickenger as having 3 runways, with the longest being a 2,750' northwest/southeast strip.
A single hangar was depicted on the north side of the field.
The operator was listed as Jones Flying Service.
A 1957 aerial view depicted Clickenger Airport as having 3 grass runways,
with a total of 13 light aircraft parked around a building on the northwest side of the field.
By 1962, it had been renamed South Columbus Airport,
which is how it was listed in the 1962 AOPA Airport Directory.
It was described as having a single gravel runway, and the operator was listed as Jones Flying Service.
The layout of South Columbus Airport, as depicted on the 1966 OH Airport Directory (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
It depicted the field as having a single 2,700' unpaved north/south runway.
The runway at South Columbus was evidently lengthened & paved at some point between 1966-71,
as a 1971 aerial view depicted the field as having a single north/south paved runway,
which extended considerably farther south than the previous airport boundary.
The original hangar remained on the northwest side,
but had been replaced by a much larger group of hangars on the west side of the new runway.
The 1982 AOPA Airport Directory (courtesy of Ed Drury) described South Columbus Airport as having a 5,150' asphalt Runway 18/36.
The operator was listed as E.C. Aviation.
John Berryman recalled, “I begin my flight training at the old South Columbus Airport as a 15 year old in 1987.
At that time it was already in decline but there were active pilots who kept their aircraft hangared there
as well as the FBO 'American Aviation Services' where I trained.
It was ran by a man named Bob Maroldy who had recently retired from the Army & just opened it when I flew there.
As a matter of fact I worked as a ground crewman on the banner towing planes
during the Ohio State Football games in exchange for flying time.
When I returned briefly in 1993 to get a picture of the plane I trained with,
the FBO was closed & a friend of his still had one of the planes & was trying to get investors to revitalize the airport.
But this was highly unlikely as that area had become mostly industrial
and Bolton Field & Don Scott are 2 class D airports very close by, much more convenient to get to.
However, I do believe that there were people who wanted to see the airport fail & had their eyes on the land.”
As of the 1994 aerial photo, the airfield consisted of a single paved 5,400' runway,
and a ramp on the west side with at least 3 hangars.
A total of nine single-engine aircraft were visible parked on the ramp.
Unfortunately, by this time, development around the field had become extensive,
with several large industrial buildings having been built immediately along the east side of the runway.
As seen in a circa 2000 aerial photo,
South Columbus Airport was evidently closed (for reasons unknown) at some point between 1994-2000.
In the circa 2000 aerial photo, 2 large buildings had been built over the central portion of the runway,
and a housing development had been built over the southern portion of the runway.
However, about half of the runway remained intact on the northern end,
complete with the circular turn-around characteristic of a runway at the north end.
The remaining runway portion was evidently being used to store trailers or containers.
The former terminal building also remained intact.
At some point after the airport closed, the former main hangar was apparently reused as the “Airport Tennis Club”.
A 2003 photo by Billy Spiropoulos of the former main Hangar of South Columbus Airport.
Billy observed, “The place is indeed an industrial park now.
It had an eerie, desolate, decrepit atmosphere,
even though there are several businesses operating on the site."
A 2003 photo by Billy Spiropoulos of the runway.
Billy observed, "The runway is all cracked up & potholed, with endless rows of cargo trailers parked on it,
but still plainly evident as you look down its length."
A 2003 photo by Billy Spiropoulos of the former main Hangar of South Columbus Airport.
A 2003 photo by Billy Spiropoulos of the what used to be an office attached to the main Hangar of South Columbus Airport.
Note the faded lettering on the windows, which apparently used to read, "Airport Tennis Club".
A 2003 photo by Billy Spiropoulos of the former Hangar 6 at South Columbus Airport.
Billy Spiropoulos noted, "I spotted the ramp & the remaining hangars as well.
The 2 narrow buildings are rusty sheetmetal with numbers still on the walls;
each of the 2 smaller hangars still has an older style Shell Oil logo hanging on it."
An "artsy" 2003 photo by Billy Spiropoulos
of one of the many junked autos resting at the former South Columbus Airport,
one of Detroit's finest, an early 1970s Ford Torino.
Billy noted, "The ramp area is littered with abandoned older cars
(for example: two 1970 or '71 Ford Torinos,
rusty but still complete & still sitting on old-fashioned bias-ply tires)."
A circa 2006 aerial view looking south at the 3 former hangars which remain at the former South Columbus Airport.
A circa 2008 aerial view looking south at the north end of the former South Columbus Airport runway.
The darker-colored portion of the building at bottom-right is a former hangar from Clickenger Airport (predating South Columbus Airport),
which dates back to at least 1955.
The site of South Columbus Airport is located
southeast of the intersection of Lockbourne Road & East Williams Road.
The road leading into the former airport is still labeled "South Columbus Airport Road".
Biglow Airfield, New London, OH
41.09 North / 82.39 West (Southwest of Cleveland, OH)
A 5/8/59 USGS aerial view of Biglow Airport.
According to property owner Ralph Danison, a tile plant on this property “was built in 1882 by Anthony Ruse.
The Biglow Company... sold out in the late 1920's or early 1930's.”
No airfield was yet depicted at this location on the 1948 USGS topo map.
At some point between 1948-55 an airfield was constructed on the property.
According to Ralph Danison, “The man who flew out of this airport's name is Earl Deer.
He was superintendent of the company's plants. They built that airport just for him.”
Ed Ganz recalled of the airfield, “I think it had 2 sod strips. Hangars were at the southwest corner of the property.
I hauled tile out of there in 1955 & it was still there. The buildings to the west are the tile company's.
They had a plane; I don't remember what kind. I think they had 2 more plants west of there & would fly between them."
The only photo which has which has been located of aircraft at Biglow Airfield was on a 5/8/59 USGS aerial view.
It depicted the airfield as having 2 unpaved runways, with 3 T-hangars & one single-engine aircraft on the west side.
However, no airfield was depicted at the location
on the the 1960 Cleveland Local Aeronautical Chart (courtesy of Mike Keefe).
The earliest topo map depiction of which has been located of Biglow Airfield was on the 1960 USGS topo map.
It depicted the airfield as having 2 runways, labeled simply as "Landing Field".
Don Murray recalled, “I grew up in New London & frequented the Biglow property to fish in the ponds north of the hangars, roughly 1963-68.
There were 2 aircraft based there in this time period.
One was a Piper Apache twin. It was green and was kept in the 'still intact' hangar with the sliding doors.
We only saw this plane when it was coming or going, the hangar being locked otherwise.
The other was an all metal taildragger maybe a Cessna 170 & was kept in the open-front cement block hangar.
I think it was yellow. I remember that it had 2 venturis for vacuum instruments on the right side of the aircraft.”
The airfield also was not depicted at all on the May 1968 Cleveland Sectional Chart (according to Chris Kennedy).
Ralph Danison recalled of the property, “It was used by Hancock Brick until the late 1960s & early 1970s.
I would say that the early 1970s was the last [the airfield] was used, unless some one 'sneaked' a landing.
The gentleman who flew out of there used his single-engine aircraft to go on sales calls & business related trips.
Hancock Brick also had more than one factory.”
The earliest aeronautical chart depiction of the airfield which has been located
was on the May 1971 Detroit Sectional Chart (courtesy of Chris Kennedy).
It depicted "Biglow" as a public-use airfield having a 3,800' unpaved runway.
The 1972 USGS topo map depicted the airfield as having 2 runways (with the longest being the 2,800' northeast/southwest strip),
labeled simply as "Landing Field".
The Biglow Airfield was not listed in the January 1972 Flight Guide (according to Chris Kennedy).
Ralph Danison recalled, “My father purchased the property in 1974.”
The London Tile Company is their family business.
Ralph added, “The airstrip was maintained during our time down there, but was not used to my knowledge.”
The Biglow Airfield was not listed in the 1976 AOPA Airports USA Directory (according to Chris Kennedy),
or depicted on the 1977 or 1986 USGS topo maps.
Ralph Danison recalled, “We manufactured tile there until 1985 [when they moved a few blocks away].
We ran limited operations from the late 1980's until 2001 at the Ledgitt Street location.”
A 1991 aerial photo (courtesy of Ralph Danison) looking east at the Biglow Company factory, kins, garage, and a hangar (at the top-right).
In the 1994 USGS aerial photo,
the cleared grass area of the 2 former runways was still barely recognizable.
A December 2005 photo by Ralph Danison of the exterior of the Biglow hangar.
A December 2005 photo by Ralph Danison of the interior of the Biglow hangar.
Ralph Danison reported in 2005 that 2 former airfield buildings were still standing.
“They're made of brick & are intact in the weeds, and still in good shape!
One was made of cinder block, it looks like it was disassembled for spare blocks.
I'm not sure if it was a hangar or a storage building.
The other building is certainly a hangar.
It is custom built around an aircraft, that is the hangar is shaped somewhat like an airplane.
It is made E. Biglow Company's famous 'hollow' brick (they basically made their own hangar).
The red brick hangar is in fantastic shape, not one hole in the roof, the airplane door in still on the rack,
the entrance door is still on its hinges, and the hangar is free of vandalism & has not one loose brick.”
A circa 2006 aerial view looking north at the site of the Biglow Airfield,
with the outline of the 2 runways still barely recognizable,
and the 2 former hangars visible just below the ponds.
The site of the Biglow Airfield is located east of the intersection of East Fir Street & Ledgett Street.
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