l P.F. Barnes
P.F. Barnes
First Airplanes Arrive in Lewis County
by Vic Kucera and Karen L. Johnson
     By this time, airplanes had become more common, but remained the major drawing card for Fourth of July celebrations. At the Chehalis feat of 1919, passengers could now ride "at a reasonable charge" ($10.00 for a 15-minute flight) with that years aviator, P.F. Barnes from Tacoma. In a July 18, 1919 article, the Lewis County Advocate reported that "Mr. and Mrs. E.F. Crown were the first to make the ascent....Mrs. Crown is the first Chehalis woman to make a flight, so far as we know. She describes the sensation of flying as delightful, and says that there is nothing about it to inspire fear after one gets away from the ground."
     Local residents C.A. Studebaker and Sam Downs might have wanted their money back, though. Pilot Barnes struck a rut when taking off with Studebaker and Downs as passengers. The plane hit its nose. Studebaker, thrown forward into canvas and machinery, sustained a number of injuries. Small wonder--he had been sitting in Downs' lap. Downs and the aviator, both in seatbelts, were uninjured. The Advocate added, "One nice thing about Mrs. Crowns trip was that a good safe landing was made, which, after all, seems to be the important thing."
from The Lewis County Historian
599 N.W. Front Way, Chelais, Washington
Volume 26 - No. 4           December 2004

ContentsBack Home NextHerbert Munter