Airport History

Created in 1925 by Fred E. Hummel, the airport was donated to Middlesex County in 1970. Known then as Hummel Airport, the facility originally was aimed at encouraging outdoor recreation, such as fishing, in the area near the town of Topping.

Fred E. Hummel

Plaque Honoring Fred HummelFred E. Hummel (lived 1896 to 1975) is known as one of the Early Birds of Aviation and a pioneer in the field. Flight become an obsession for him when he was a teenager in his native Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Using plans drawn up by the famous Glen Curtiss, young Hummel spent a year building a glider. His first flight was from a cliff overlooking Lake Michigan in June 1911, eight years after the Wright Brothers became airborne at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The flight, which ended on a sandy beach below the cliff, earned him a niche in the Early Birds of Aviation. Membership was limited to those who piloted a glider, gas balloon, or airplane, prior to December 17, 1916. The cutoff date was set at December 17 to correspond to the first flights of Wilbur and Orville Wright.

In 1974, Fred E. Hummel was featured in the Richmond News Leader (PDF).