Venice in Sarasota County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Fred Albee Municipal Airport
The first recorded flight into Venice brought a crate of fresh strawberries for the Hotel Venice. Pioneer pilot Capt. George Haldeman landed his plane on Nassau Street to make his delivery on January 13, 1927, not until the mid-1930s was a serious effort made to construct an official airport.
In 1935 the Civil Aeronautics Authority and the Works Progress Administration approved east-west and north-south landing strips for a municipal airport, which was to be located near the Tamiami Trail and north of the first Venice golf course. On January 26 of the following year, concrete was poured for the airport marker, which identified the sod runways for approaching aircraft and distinguished the airport as more than an emergency landing strip. A hanger, with space for planes, offices, a flying school and repair shop, was completed in 1939.
The city dedicated the Fred Albee Municipal Airport in January 1939. A private pilot, Albee had given land for the airport. The dedication was a gala occasion, with speeches, a fish fry, ball, parachute jumpers, stunt-men and sky writing.
A variety of people used the airport. Steve Albee, Jr., piloted his uncle's five-passenger plane to fly patients to the Florida Medical Center. In 1933 Dr. Fred Albee had opened this orthopedic hospital, also
Visitors came in their private planes to participate in seasonal events such as the Tarpon Tournament. Crop dusters used the airport, as did National Airlines beginning in 1939.
The Venice Aviation Club, which raised money for airport improvements, became a major user of the airport. Formed in 1938, the club initially included Steve Albee, Jr., James Cousins, Finn Caspersen and J.E. Darby. The first Venice student to solo was George Hauser. His daughter, Betty Hauser Arnall, was the first woman pilot from the Venice area.
The Army Air Corps used the municipal airport while it built the Venice Army Air Base during World War II. After the war, the VAAB property was turned over to the city and became a civilian airport in 1946. The two airports co-existed until the 1950s, when the School Board acquired the Albee Airport land and began construction of an educational complex on it.
Erected by Sarasota County Historical Commission.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects marker series.
Location. 27° 5.926′ N, 82° 26.456′ W. Marker is in Venice, Florida, in Sarasota Touch for map. This historical marker is located along a community walking path that runs along the west side of the intracoastal waterway, and under the Venice Avenue Bridge that spans the intracoastal waterway. It is situated along a portion of the walking path that is entitled "Venice Remembrances" and is overlooked by a mural on the side of a building that features events in the history of the City of Venice. Marker is in this post office area: Venice FL 34285, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Venice Railroad and Depot (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Gunther Gebel-Williams (approx. 0.2 miles away); Colonel George Kumpe Bridge (approx. ¼ mile away); Johnson-Schoolcraft Building 1926 (approx. 0.3 miles away); Ennes Arcade and Hotel Valencia 1926 (approx. 0.4 miles away); Kentucky Military Institute (approx. 0.4 miles away); San Marco Hotel (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named Kentucky Military Institute (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Venice.
Categories. • 20th Century • Notable Places •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 21, 2018. This page originally submitted on July 3, 2010, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 797 times since then and 32 times this year. Last updated on May 13, 2014. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 3, 2010, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.