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Hummel Field

September 26, 2017 by Glenn Nix

History of Hummel Field

Created in 1925 by Fred E. Hummel, the airport was donated to Middlesex County in 1970. Known then as Hummel Airport, the facility originally was aimed at encouraging outdoor recreation, such as fishing, in the area near the town of Topping.



Fred E. Hummel

Fred E. Hummel (1896-1975) is known as one of the Early Birds of Aviation and a pioneer in the field. Flight become and obsession for him when he was a teenager in his native Milwaukee, Wisonsin.

Using plans drawn up by the famous Glen Curtiss, young Hummel spent a year building a glider. His first flight was from a cliff overlooking Lake Michigan in June 1911, eight years before the Wright Brothers became airborne at Kitty Hawk, NC. The flight, which ended on a sandy beach below the cliff, earned him a niche in the Early Birds of Aviation. Membership was limited to those who piloted a glider, gas balloon, or airplane, prior to December 17, 1916. The cutoff date was set at December 17 to correspond to the first flights of Wilbur and Orville Wright.

In 1974, Fred E. Hummel was featured in the Ricmond News Leader. You can read the article in PDF format here.