A Teeny Tiny Little Park with a Very Big History

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Title Insurance with First American Title
https://activerain.com/droplet/42ds

There’s a teeny tiny little park at the very northwest corner of Renton Municipal Airport, probably one of Renton’s better kept secrets, unless you fly into Renton in a seaplane or you’re a local like me who’s been around these parts for a long time. You'd probably never know it existed.

Will Rogers and Wiley Post Memorial at Renton Municipal Airport

I love to stop here on occasion when I take the back way home from Seattle down Rainier Valley. The park at the Will Rogers - Wiley Post Memorial Seaplane Base is just a small patch of grass with a monument. Yet, it's significant because this is the place where Will Rogers and Wiley Post took off (from the lower 48) to explore airmail routes to Alaska and Russia then to continue their adventure to encircle the globe.

Will Rogers and Wiley Post Memorial at Renton Municipal Airport

The views from here are beautiful looking north over Lake Washington at Mercer Island. You can see the tops of skyscrapers in Seattle to the left and Bellevue to the right. You’re right up close to the planes landing at Renton Municipal Airport, now known as Clayton Scott Field and the seaplanes land and take off in the water right in front of you.  

Will RogersWiley Post

Will Rogers and Wiley Post took off from this location on August 7, 1935. My Dad (Al Fabre) and my Uncle George then 14 and 16 years old kids were here to witness the event. About a week later Will and Wiley would flip the plane on take off from a small lagoon just outside of Barrow, Alaska and both men were killed. 

 

Here's a 34 second clip of a piper cub coming in for a landing over Lake Washington from the north on this beautiful summer afternoon in August.

I stopped here this week after a busy day up north and a meeting in Seattle. I packed a lunch and sat under a tree in the shade watching the planes come and go and enjoyed a quiet moment and a few memories of my Dad, my Uncle George, and a little bit about local aviation history in Renton, Washington.

 

If you’d like to know more I did this post last year: Will and Wileys Last Adventure.

 

Posted by

René Fabre

"Where there's conversation, there's opportunity."

Please Note - The views expressed herein reflect only the individual’s personal views and are not the views of the author’s employer.

The Blackberry Chronicles, a blog by Rene Fabre and his travels around the Greater Pacific Northwest and beyond. Connect w/ Rene Fabre on Google+. Rene Fabre on Twitter. Rene Fabre writes reviews on Yelp. Rene Fabre on Linkedin.com The Audiorium YouTube Channel by Rene Fabre. Facebook.com/renefabre Rene Fabre loves digital photography and here are his shares on Flickr. Rene Fabre is a musician and composer and shares some of his orginal music and recordings on Soundcloud. Rene Fabre shares his interests on Pinterest.
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Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
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Rene, Will Rogers left his mark on so many of us. His and Wiley's death shook so many people up. If they had lived no telling how many more events and sayings would be a part of our lives today.

Aug 24, 2013 05:27 AM #1
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Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana!
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Rene what a great story!  Will Rogers was the goodwill ambassador. That must have tough to watch happen for your Dad and his brother.

Aug 24, 2013 06:00 AM #2
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Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
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Hi Debbie, indeed, Will Rogers left an amazing mark on our culture and defined a generation.

Hi Anna... Fortunately Dad and Uncle George were there to share the beginnings of a great adventure and all of the excitement... But I remember them both tell of the shock they felt when Will & Wiley later crashed in Alaska.

Aug 24, 2013 06:11 AM #3
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Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

It is neat to find these little places tucked among the bigger places, which have a special tale to tell:-)

Aug 24, 2013 06:35 AM #4
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Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
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Hi Myrl... Agreed. I think every community has many delightful little places and I love discovering the one's I didn't know about.

Aug 24, 2013 06:59 AM #5
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Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Rene' loved Will Rogers thanks to my Dad who loved him as well, great memorial...Los Angeles has a great love for Will Rogers.... how amazing that your family had the opportunity to see this' take off' ill fated or not. Glad you shared this bit of history, Endre

Aug 24, 2013 01:15 PM #6
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Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks for telling us about this little park with a very historic monument. And, thanks for this chapter of our history. 

Aug 24, 2013 08:19 PM #7
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Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
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Rene,

What a lovely little historical place.  There is a Will Rogers Park in Pacific Palisades, California.  When we lived nearby we used to go to this magnificent park.  It has hiking trails, with one we loved called Inspiration Point. His home is there now a museum, and the polo fields are there.  Great views of the ocean also.  A

Aug 25, 2013 03:39 AM #8
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Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
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Endre: Thanks... Funny, but I remember (as the first generation who did) watch Saturday morning cartoons etc. They ran old western movies also. Somehow, I remember seeing a lot of Will Rogers then. My folks were big fans of Will and his name would often come up in their stories about the Great Depression. I like his satire and rope tricks :O)

Roy: This got me thinking about the several places around here that are small, out of the way, and practically forgotten... Hmmm... Sounds like a new series! Thanks!

Alexandra: Thanks! I would love to visit the Will Rogers Park in Pacific Palisades.

Aug 25, 2013 03:49 AM #9
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Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
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I loved my many visits to the Seattle area, when my daughter and son-in-law were living there.

Aug 25, 2013 06:41 AM #10
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Barbie Van Horn
First American Title Company - Seattle, WA
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I had no idea!  I believe that there is a statue of Will Rogers near the Library at Lake City too.  I'll check it out next time I'm in the area.

 

Aug 26, 2013 02:06 AM #11
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Rene Fabre
First American Title - Seattle, WA
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Joe: If you ever get up this way again, give me a call if you'd like to get together or do a little site seeing!

Barbie: There is a statue of Will Rogers in Lake City... I've seen it!

Aug 26, 2013 10:23 AM #12
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