Aviation History

//Aviation History
Aviation History 2017-09-27T11:22:29+00:00

A ⅓ scale model of a Junkers W 34 plane awaits you in Cottonwood Park. This type of plane was designed and built in Germany around and after World War I, and was used locally in the late 1940s, when Fort St. James become an important float plane base, providing service to mining and forestry operations as well as trapping and hunting interests to the north. These aircraft were used by men such as Russ Baker, Grant McConnachie, Sheldon Luck, Pat Carey, and Merv Hesse, all of whom were instrumental in opening up the north for further development.

Aviation history buffs can also head to the Russ Baker Memorial. On a secluded bluff with a spectacular view over Stuart Lake, this memorial to the legendary pilot is a great place for a peaceful retreat. It was erected in honour of Frank Russell “Russ” Baker, one of the first bush pilots in the Fort St. James area. After World War II, Baker started Central BC Airways, which later became part of Pacific Western Airlines, which eventually merged with Canadian Airlines.