Submitted by Michael J Raymond
The Arrowhead Eagles Aviation Organization held its annual fund raising event at Grand Marais/Cook County Airport on September 16th. The fly-in and drive-in pancake breakfast is a tradition that welcomes community members and pilots to an open house at the airport in a large hangar. It’s a chance to see airplanes up close, talk with pilots and even take an airplane ride. Three local vintage airplanes were on display, a 1940 Piper J-3 Cub, 1946 Taylorcraft (which won the Grand Champion Award at EAA Air Venture in Oshkosh), and a 1958 Piper Tri-Pacer, along with numerous other aircraft, and a 1938 Stinson S-10 project.
At this year’s event the Eagles honored people who have had a major impact on aviation in Cook County. A commemorative plaque was created to honor Clarence Krotz and his family for their efforts in constructing and operating the first officially recognized airport in the county. It was dedicated in 1948 as part of the national airspace system and supported by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Kathy (Krotz) Finn and Ginger (Krotz) Berglund accepted the plaque and shared memories of their father’s efforts in building the “Devil Track Airport”. Kathy’s 1940 Piper Cub was on display along with the announcement of an upcoming book sponsored by the Cook County Historical Society, which chronicles the flying life of Kathy and her J-3 Cub.
The original Cook County Airport Advisory Committee was also honored for their work in creating the new airport, located just “up the hill” from the Krotz airfield. The group was tasked with finding a location, seeking the state and federal approvals and financial support to construct the new Grand Marais/Cook County Airport. Dedicated in 1992 and designated KCKC, it is part of the key airport system structure in Minnesota.
Members of the committee present to accept the award were Bruce Dahlman, Duane Ege, Darold Rosbacka and Dave Tuttle. Member John McClure was unable to attend, and 3 members are no longer alive, Irving Hansen, Wes Hedstrom and Ted Backstrom. All are named on a plaque commemorating their efforts. Karen Blackburn was also singled out for her ongoing contributions to the airport’s financial recording and bookkeeping.
Both plaques will hang in the Arrival/Departure Building at the Grand Marais/Cook County airport, located at 123 Airport Rd in Grand Marais.