Stanton Sport Aviation  1235 Highway 19   Stanton, Minnesota 55018    507-645-4030 or 507-263-2883

HISTORY of STANTON AIRFIELD

Stanton Airfield has been in continuous use for flight training since April, 1942, when Carleton College bought the Dack farm for use as an airport for the purpose of training pilots for World War II. The selection was made by Dr. Gould, a geologist and later president of Carleton, because of its unobstructed approaches, flat terrain, and good drainage. The college operated the field until 1944 when it was leased to Triangle Aviation which was managed by Malcolm and Margaret Manuel. Triangle Aviation bought the field in 1955 and, even after the death of Malcolm Manuel in 1987, the operations continued under the direction of Margaret and airport manager Clarence Hines.

Stanton Sport Aviation was formed and purchased the field in October 1990 when there was fear that the property might be returned to agricultural or other uses. Several active local pilots organized a group of investors most of whom used the field for sport flying. They were committed to keeping the field available for sport aviation purposes. The field is still owned today by Stanton Sport Aviation and is one of the few grass strips available for recreational flying, training and soaring.

In 2004 Carleton Airport, now Stanton Airfield, was added to the National Register of Historic Places.






CARLETON AIRPORT (NOW STANTON AIRFIELD) SELECTED FOR LISTING ON THE NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES   NOV 2004

The Board of Directors of Stanton Sport Aviation is proud to announce that Carleton Airport has been awarded the prestigious honor of being placed on the National Register of Historic Places.  This registration is in recognition of the Airport's Historic significance as the only remaining Airport in Minnesota used for War Training Service that has retained its original turf runways and primary operational buildings.  Carleton Airport was developed in 1942 to provide Carleton College students with elementary flight training in preparation for military enlistment, and used by the War department for secondary and instructor flight training.  Today the airport is privately owned and operated by a local group of recreational pilots who enjoy this wonderful facility and work to see it preserved for future generations to enjoy.

Being added to the National Register provides Carleton Airport (Stanton Airfield) not only recognition for its Historic significance, but also aids in long-term preservation efforts for the airport.  The registration now places Carleton Airport on tourism lists maintained by the National Park Service, as well as provides eligibility for Federal and State preservation grant money.

The large, original, and unique main hangar, maintenance shop, runways and administration building, combined with old-time charm maintained by the current airport operators, makes Stanton Airfield a treasured airport enjoyed by recreational pilots, tourists, and the local public.  Stanton Airfield is one of only a handful of privately owned but publicly open airports in all of Minnesota, and is a favorite destination for recreational pilots as well as student pilots who look to fly at a quiet, safe, and well-maintained airport.

The story behind the founding, construction, and operation of Carleton Airport by Carleton College is an interesting one, and one that has been fully researched and documented by professional historian Elizabeth Gales.  In 1942, while the airport was under construction, Carleton College was offering courses in air navigation, meteorology, gasoline engines, electronics, aerial photography, and mechanical drawing.  This led to a vibrant flight-training program at Carleton Airport for students and cadets throughout the war years, resulting in many hundreds of new pilots graduating.  After the war, the airport continued to train students under ownership of Carleton College until 1955, when it was sold to Malcolm and Margaret Manuel who owned until 1990.  At that time it was purchased by Stanton Sport Aviation - the current owners, who operate and maintain the site with special attention to preserving its unique heritage and charm for the benefit of the community. 

Upon completion of her research into the history of the airport, Elizabeth Gales documented her findings and applied through the Minnesota Historical Society to acquire a listing on the National Register for Carleton Airport.  This application was accepted, and the listing granted by the Department of the Interior on July 21, 2004. 

Special thanks go out to Patrick Watson of Kenyon, a member of the Stanton Sport Aviation board of Directors, as well as to Susan Roth and Britta Bloomberg of the Minnesota Historical Society for their efforts in achieving the listing.

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