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The Old Airport Tower & Beacon at Evergreen, AL

In 1925 the United States Congress passed the Kelly Act and created the U.S. Department of Commerce which in turn established the U.S. Air Mail.  In 1927, Civil Air Mail Route 23 (CAM-23) was established between New Orleans , LA and Atlanta , GA . In 1931, CAM-23 was modified and that action led to the construction of an emergency landing field midway between New Orleans and Atlanta . This field was located five miles west of  Evergreen , AL .  It had a rotating beacon mounted on a seventy-five (75) foot tower that initially served as a route marker for CAM-23.  In 1943-1944, the site marker for the landing field was upgraded by the U.S. Navy and became an outlying training field for the Pensacola Naval Air Station named, “Middleton Field”.  The lighted airway marking system was replaced by the Very High Frequency Omni-Range system and the beacon at Middleton Field became an airport marking beacon. This old beacon is believed to be the last remaining beacon for CAM-23 and possibly the last of the original Civil Air Mail route marker beacons remaining in the United States . It had originally been known by the airmail pilots as, “Beacon #20 on Green Airway 6″.  A request is being processed to have the tower and beacon light at Middleton Field designated as a “National Historic Site or Monument”.

This airport tower and beacon are located approximately 5 miles west of Evergreen, AL on the south side of Highway 84 (GPS coordinates N31.420861,W87.041083).

Source:  Sherry Johnston (Genealogist/Historian Evergreen-Conecuh Co. Public Library)

7/17/10

 

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