Where do these names come
There’s nothing else
like it in the world. EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is an air show, a trade
show, an educational workshop, and most of all, the biggest family
reunion of aviation enthusiasts.
Scholler was named after long-time EAA member
Ray Scholler, who served on the
board of directors for 55 years. Photo by Jaclyn Zwerg
at the foot of Compass Hill, was
donated by Bob Fergus of Columbus,
Ohio, as a memorial to his brother John. The chapel is used for
denominational and non-denominational worship services,
weddings, and other events. Photo by Jaclyn Zwerg
Aviation Hangar at Pioneer Airport
was built in part by Stephen Pitcairn, who donated the funds for
the hangar. Pitcairn was also a founding member of the EAA
Photo by Jaclyn Zwerg
area near the Nature
Center was named for Audrey
Louise Poberezny. Photo by Jaclyn
People from around the
world fly and drive to Oshkosh to see familiar faces, new exhibits and
workshops, air shows, and a lot of planes, both new and old. But,
AirVenture isn’t just a time to learn and see new things, it’s also
a time to reminisce over the old—a time to remember aviation’s
This year, while you’re
visiting AirVenture, take time to notice the various streets, buildings,
airplane hangars, and other landmarks. Have you ever wondered why
certain things on the convention grounds are named what they are? Some
of these are easy to recognize, such as Paul’s Park, named after EAA
Founder and Chairman Paul Poberezny, or Museum Road, named after, of
course, the EAA AirVenture Museum. Other landmarks and street names,
however, are not so recognizable.
Many of the areas around
the AirVenture grounds hold significant ties to EAA. Roads, buildings,
and other areas have been named after long-time EAA members and
supporters, various committee and Board members, famous aircraft
builders and pilots, and others who have made significant contributions
to EAA and its continued success in preserving the spirit of aviation.
Here are just some of the areas of note:
—Located south of the AirVenture Museum, Camp Scholler was named after
long-time EAA member Ray Scholler. Scholler was the longest serving
director (55 years) on the EAA board of directors. He and his wife,
Bernice, are also founding members of the EAA President’s Circle.
Located northeast of the AirVenture Museum, Compass Hill includes an
aviation compass rose at its top, along with a sculpture entitled,
"Directions" by Larry Anderson. "Directions" depicts
a family enjoying aviation together and was provided by Walter and Olive
Beech. Milestones throughout EAA’s history are also spread along the
walk up the hill, and were provided by James Ray and Mr. and Mrs. David
Scott. EAA members and aviation enthusiasts from around the world have
also contributed to Compass Hill by leaving keystones that describe
memorable aviation experiences.
The small white building with the red door located at the foot of
Compass Hill is Fergus Chapel. Bob Fergus of Columbus, Ohio, donated it
as a memorial to his brother, John. Fergus, president of Midwestern
Enterprises Inc. Fergus Chapel is used for denominational and
non-denominational worship services during AirVenture, and is also used
for weddings, baptisms, and memorial services. The annual Memorial Wall
ceremony is held just outside the chapel.
Forest Home Avenue
—Located west of AeroShell Square, Forest Home Avenue is
the street name where Paul and Audrey Poberezny lived in Milwaukee.
Hillard Flight Operations
Building—Named after Charlie Hillard, the first American
to be awarded the Aresti Trophy after winning the 1972 VII World
Championships in France. He was also a member of the Eagles and Red
Devils aerobatic teams with Tom Poberezny and Gene Soucy and a generous
contributor to the EAA Aviation Foundation.
Kermit Weeks Hangar
—Located north of Wittman’s Runway 9/27, the Weeks Hangar was
named after Kermit Weeks, a long-time EAA supporter and EAA
President’s Circle founding member. Kermit founded the Fantasy of
Flight Museum in Polk City, Florida, designed his own aerobatic plane,
and was a member of the U.S. Aerobatic Team for several years. The
facility is used as EAA’s aircraft maintenance and research center.
—Located north of the Main admission gate, this street was
named after Art Kilps, a sponsor of the Sun ’n Fun Fly-in in Lakeland,
Florida, and long-time EAA supporter. Kilps donated the Chester Special
Racer "Jeep" to the AirVenture museum in 1977.
—Located across Poberezny Road from the EAA Aviation Center,
Lake Essie-Audie was named after Paul Poberezny’s two granddaughters,
Lesley and Audra.
—Located southeast of the Fergus Chapel, Lake Fly was named in
honor of the very thing that EAA was built on—recreational flying.
Located near the Nature Center, named after Audrey Louise
Poberezny. From its earliest days when the Pobereznys’ basement served
as EAA headquarters, she has helped EAA grow from a Milwaukee-area club
for amateur aircraft builders to an international aviation organization.
—The courtyard behind EAA headquarters was dedicated to Jimmy
Leeward’s father, Al. Jimmy, owner of the Leeward Air Ranch, served as
chairman of the EAA Aviation Foundation Building Committee, which
planned and oversaw the construction of the EAA Aviation Center.
—Of course, named after Charles Lindbergh, located within Camp
Pitcairn Aviation Hangar
—Located at Pioneer Airport, this structure was built in part
by Stephen Pitcairn, who donated the funds for the hangar. He was an EAA
Aviation Foundation Board member and donated three of the autogiros to
the EAA AirVenture Museum. Pitcairn was also a founding member of the
EAA President’s Circle. Pitcairn’s father, Harold, became known
among the aviation community for his first commercial success in
Autogiro design with the PCA-2.
Ryan Flying Hangar
—Also located at Pioneer Airport, this hangar was named after
Ryan Aeronautical Company, which built EAA’s flying replica of the Spirit
of St. Louis. That airplane hangars here and is used during EAA’s
Good Ol’ Days event held in August.
—Located within Camp Scholler, this was named after Will
Schaick, who created Flight Line Operations with Bob Ring and served as
chairman for 20 years. Will has also received two President’s Awards
from Paul and Tom Poberezny, recognizing his outstanding volunteerism.
In addition, Schaick was a Charter Contributor to "Wings on
Dreams" campaign for the construction of EAA headquarters.
—Located next to Fergus Chapel, these lakes were named after
Sharon Poberezny, wife of EAA President Tom Poberezny.
—Located within Camp Scholler, named after Ray Stits, designer
of Stits Aircraft. Ray started EAA Chapter 1 in Riverside, California,
and also donated the prototype Stits SA-3A Playboy to the
AirVenture Museum in 1973.
Located south of AeroShell Square, and named after Vern
Lichtenberg, who was Paul Poberezny’s maintenance man during his
service in the Wisconsin Air National Guard. Vern later became Director
of EAA Facilities and served the association for 29 years. He played a
key role in developing EAA’s world-class convention buildings and
—Located within the EAA Aviation Center, the theater is named
after John and Janet Vette, local Oshkosh citizens and long-time EAA
supporters. Land along Lake Winnebago owned by the Vette family is where
the EAA Seaplane Base is located.
Airport— Named after Steve Wittman, legendary air racer and
aircraft designer/builder who was also the Oshkosh Airport manager from
1931-1969. Steve was an EAA member since 1953 and played a key role in
bringing the EAA’s annual fly-in to Oshkosh in 1970. Wittman Road,
which runs along the flightline, is also named in his honor.