Many people may not be aware of it, but Mars Hill has an airport. It was originally built in 1947 and moved to its present location, next to a potato field owned by Kendall Grass. The Mars Hill Rotary Club took the little airport under its wing recently to refurbish it and give it some new life.
“The focus of our Rotary Club is to improve Mars Hill and Blaine and Bridgewater and Westfield,” said Rotary Club President Bruce Hussey. “We have projects in each town and it’s a beautification. We’re having our homecoming this weekend and we wanted the town to look good.”
The Rotarians worked with a budget of just $250. Some items were donated and all the labor was free.
Club Member Steve Hitcock said ” We jacked the building up, put it on blocks. We replaced the windows we scrounged up here and there, put a new door on, painted the building and then we put a new metal roof on it.”
A number of trees were also cleared. The airport doesn’t see a lot of traffic, but does get used.
” This airport is used by 2 or 3 local guys that fly in and it’s also used as a training facility for instructors that want to practice on grass airstrips.
Hitchcock says ultralight pilots use the strip, as well. And, as part of a program called Fly Maine, pilots have an incentive to visit the Mars Hill airport.
” He flies in here, Mars Hill is on the book, he flies in here. There’s a little blue mailbox down there. He takes a sticker, puts it on his passport and then he signs his name on a form down there and if he goes to 5 airports, he gets 2 Maine lobsters.”
The landing strip is 2000 feet long and 50 feet wide and is located on the West Ridge Road in Mars Hill.