Pitt-Bradford will celebrate the campus’s history as
Bradford’s original airport as part of celebrations for its 50thanniversary.
Today’s Pitt-Bradford is located on
a tract of land that served as Harri Emery Airport from the1920s until the Bradford Regional Airport was constructed in the
Pitt-Bradford retiree and local
historian Linda Delaney has researched and curated an exhibit with the help of
Bruce and Beverly Perry and Bernie Picklo.
The exhibit will open Tuesday as
part of Founders’ Day events planned at Pitt-Bradford for its 50th
anniversary and remain on display in the KOA Gallery in Blaisdell Hall through
Oct. 6. The gallery is open from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday
and 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. Special hours are planned for Alumni and Family
Weekend Oct. 4 through 6, when the exhibition will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 6
p.m. each day.
Delaney said the history of the
airport first piqued her curiosity when she got a new office at Pitt-Bradford
that happened to be in the original control tower and administration building
for the airport.
Delaney said that several times each
summer for the three or four years she was there, people would stop and come in
and ask if they could take a brief tour of the building.
Delaney began asking family friend
and longtime local pilot Ray Lewis about its history and became intrigued.
Through Lewis, she got access to extensive scrapbooks kept by Joe Field, who
was the final manager of Emery Airport.
The exhibit, which Delaney has been working
on for several years, will feature rare photos from the scrapbooks, including a
photo of crowds at the airport dedication in 1929 just months before the death
of its namesake, local aviation pioneer Harri Emery.
The exhibit will also feature a
video produced by Picklo with early film clips provided by the Bradford
Landmark Society of planes taking off and landing at the airport. Also in the
video are interviews with Lewis and local pilot Dick Stover; Sally Costik of
the Bradford Landmark Society, who lives in the Emery House overlooking the
airfield/campus; and Pitt-Bradford staff members Jeff Armstrong and Bonnie
McMillen who grew up near the current campus and remember its time as an
Delaney is the author of “The Gamble
for Glory in the World’s First Billion Dollar Oilfield.”