First Airplane Flight

First Airplane Flight in Fargo.

Long before Hector Field was built in 1931 (now Hector International Airport), the first successful airplane flight in Fargo occurred at the Fairgrounds. On June 9, 1911, Fargo banks closed at noon, stores closed for the afternoon, and the Fargo Forum went to press early. Over 12,000 Fargo townspeople gathered at the Fairgrounds where Robert "Lucky Bob" St. Henry took to the air from the grassy area inside the grand stand race course. St. Henry made three flights at 3, 4, and 4:30pm in his Glenn Curtiss biplane named Sweetheart. Lucky Bob rose to a height of 1125 feet and flew over seven miles (as far east as the Red River on one flight). The next day, the Fargo Forum and Daily Republican headline read "ND Manbird Soars in Air Above Fair Ground."

In the background are several of the livestock buildings on the north side of the fairgrounds.