Friday, December 31, 2010

Ghosts of Wausau - Wausau Municipal Airport

This article is from the

April 26, 11:57 AM By Kathie Kessler

One of the last places you would think to be haunted, would be an airplane hanger at a small town airport. But that's story at Wausau's Downtown Airport. The Wausau airport was founded in 1927 and accepted commercial flights until 1969 when they were moved to the Central Wisconsin Airport.

There are reports of footsteps and banging noises that start in one area and travel around the building. Faucets turn themselves on and off. These phenomenon are all attributed to the ghost of Archie Towle.

Archie Towle was born in Merrill April 5, 1900. He served in the Army as a truck mechanic during World War I. After returning from the war in 1920, he came to Wausau. Archies interest turned to aviation and he soloed on May 16, 1929, thus beginning a Towle family tradition. Archie taught his wife, Margaret, and their 16 year old daughter Marie to fly. Since then, seventeen of his descendants have learned to fly, most taking their solo flight on or near their 16th birthday.

Archie was instrumental in developing Wausau's Alexander Municipal Airport in 1928, becoming the airport manager from 1934 until his death. He logged over 3,000 flight hours as a flight instructor and was the airport's first fatality in 1945. During an air show, Archie attempted a roll but lost control, crashed his plane and died. Marathon County Historical Society has photos of the crash HERE

Since then people have experienced odd phenomenon in the hangar that he so often frequented, even up to this day. It's not hard to believe that someone who loved flying so much and the airport he started, would be hanging around checking on things even after his untimely demise.

After his death, his daughter Marie and her husband managed the airport. Both Archie and Marie were inducted into the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame on October 25, 2003.

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