“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bennett in Adams County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)

Front Range Flight

Front Range Flight Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 29, 2013
1. Front Range Flight Marker
Inscription. The Rocky Mountains proved a formidable barrier to early aviation, leaving Colorado in a familiar position: bypassed. As with the railroads fifty years earlier, transcontinental air traffic went through Wyoming; Colorado had to make do with a Denver-based spur line—in this case, Colorado Airways, which began flying the fifty-five-minute Denver-to-Cheyenne route in 1926. Airplane technology quickly conquered the mountains, and Front Rangers began taking to the skies. In 1938 Continental Airlines became the state's first coast-to-coast passenger carrier, and after World War II Colorado became a major aviation axis, hosting Lowry Air Force Base and Buckley Naval Air Station as well as the U.S. Air Force Academy. Ultimately air travel changed life for Coloradans, tying them into national affairs as never before.

Denver Municipal Airport opened in 1929, its four gravel runways squeezed onto a square-mile parcel in northeastern Denver. Boosters called it "the West's best airfield," but critics derided it as a pork-barrel reward for Mayor Benjamin Stapleton's political allies. Time proved out the boosters; by 1950 Stapleton Airport was serving six major airlines and 200,000 passengers, and in 1986 it ranked as the fifth-busiest airport in the world. Three years later voters authorized construction of Denver International
Front Range Flight Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 29, 2013
2. Front Range Flight Marker
Airport, a 34,000-acre facility to be supported by Front Range Airport and other satellite sites. Once again detractors cried boondoggle, particularly when construction glitches pushed the project behind schedule and over budget. When DIA finally went into service in February 1995, it was the largest airport in the world—and one of the most talked about.

Photo of old Denver municipal airport: (Caption) Denver Municipal Airport in 1931, soon after its first expansion—a second hanger. Colorado Historical Society

Photo of airmail plane: (Caption) The revenue from carrying airmail sustained early Colorado aviation. Pilot Floyd Pace (left) flew the Pueblo-to-Cheyenne, Wyoming, route in 1926. Colorado Historical Society

Photo of DIA terminal: (Caption) Denver International Airport Colorado Historical Society
Erected 1998 by the Colorado Historical Society & the Historical Society of Bennett. (Marker Number 218.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the History Colorado marker series.
Location. 39° 44.215′ N, 104° 23.844′ W. Marker is in Bennett, Colorado, in Adams County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of 15th Avenue and East Colfax Avenue
Marker Sponsor image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 29, 2013
3. Marker Sponsor
. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 15th Avenue, Bennett CO 80102, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. High-Five Plains Towns / Ten Miles a Day (here, next to this marker); First Transcontinental Railroad (approx. 3 miles away); Comanche Crossing Centennial (approx. 3.9 miles away).
More about this marker. Located at the Colorado Department of Transportation Rest Stop near Bennett, just off Interstate 70, exit 306. Now closed due to lack of funds, the marker is still there. Best access is from the gravel parking lot on the southeast corner of 15th Avenue and E. Colfax Avenue.
Categories. Air & Space
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 30, 2013, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 762 times since then and 66 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 30, 2013, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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