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Beamsville Aerodrome

A vintage WWI era biplane outside the hangars at the Beamsville Aerodrome, circa 1918.
 

General Information


The Beamsville Aerodrome was an important airfield in World War I. In 1917 the Royal Flying Corps was faced with a difficult decision; the Corps would train in Texas during the winter of 1917 and 1918 and should the war last longer the Corps would have no place to train their men in the States. The Corps decided to locate near the village of Beamsville, which was chosen as the last aerodrome to be built by the Royal Flying Corps in Canada.

The Beamsville Aerodrome opened in early 1918 on a 282 acre property administered by the Royal Flying Corps as the home of the School of Aerial Fighting and the School of Aerial Gunnery. The aerodrome had 12 hangars for its fleet of aircraft. The village, with its population of 500, was situated between Hamilton and Niagara Falls, on the old Queenston Hamilton Road and about 12 mile west of the city of St. Catharines.

Work on the aerodrome begain shortly after the arrival of the British. Shortly before Chirstmas the Grand Trunk Railway started construction of a spur line into the camp. A great deal of equipment from Beamsville was sold at an auction sale in Hamilton in January of 1919. The schools closed in March 1919.

If you were to go one mile east of Beamsville in the spring and see the pink and white peach and cherry blossoms in bloom it would be hard to realize this was once an aerodrome. The last remaining hanger is still there, although it seems out of place, since it is now occupied by a horticultural company. All that remains of the former aerodrome is one hangar, slightly modified with new siding a small addition and one administrative building, both now occupied by Global Horticultural Inc. The centre of the camp is dotted with houses and most of the flying fields are now farmlands, as they were when the airfield was originally established.

The aerodrome continued to be used as a civilian airfield through to the 1930's. In 1942, the RCAF considered re-activating the Beamsville aerodrome as a Relief Landing Field for No. 9 EFTS at St. Catharines, but this never came to be. To the south of the old camp across the highway and Regional Road 81 are the remains of the rest of the Royal Flying Corps Camp. The concrete backstop, situated in a small valley about 300m from the road looking like a partially complete dam is still there.  The ruins and foundations from some of the buildings and the manhole covers from the sewer system are still there. The field seems virtually untouched since the departure of the Corps.
 

Source Material: "History of Canadian Airports" by T. M. McGrath, information supplied by Global Horticultural Inc. (
http://www.globalhort.com) in 2005, and Bruce Forsyth's Military History Page (http://www.militarybruce.com/history/base-history_13.html) (2005).

 


 

Ownership & Management

Town of Lincoln

Address

4222 Sann Road,
Beamsville, Ontario
L0R 1B1 Municipality Town of Lincoln

Telephone

905 563 8205

GPS Co-ordinates

Latitude 43.16373
Longitude -79.455657
Note: Privately owned land. All that remains of the former aerodrome is one hangar, slightly modified with new siding a small addition and one administrative building, both now occupied by Global Horticultural Inc.

Administration

Gary Dalbianco
Deputy Clerk
Town of Lincoln
4800 South Service Road
Beamsville, Ontario
L0R 1B1
Tel 905 563 8205
Fax 905 563 6566
Email info@lincoln.ca

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