Pearson Air Museum Dispute Results in Separation

The empty Pearson Air Museum Hangar on "move out day." (Image Credit: Pearson Air Museum)

The empty Pearson Air Museum Hangar on "move out day." (Image Credit: Pearson Air Museum)
The empty Pearson Air Museum Hangar on “move out day.”
(Image Credit: Pearson Air Museum)
In the most recent development of the ongoing dispute between the US National Parks Service and local non-profit Fort Vancouver Trust which operates the Pearson Air Museum has resulted in two museums. The impasse stems from the Park Service objecting to the Pearson Air Museum making its collection, historic hangar facility and collection available for dances, marriage ceremonies, church picnics and other fundraisers that helped to support its continuing operation.

Current contents of the hangar include a boat, wagon and a tractor. (Image Credit: Save Pearson Air Museum)
Current contents of the hangar include a boat, wagon and a tractor.
(Image Credit: Save Pearson Air Museum)
After the contents of the museum, including the 15 planes in its permanent collection in addition to several other planes and exhibits that were on loan, were moved out of the hangar, the National Parks Service set up an aviation museum of sorts in the the space which includes a covered wagon, a boat and some military aviation paraphernalia. The Fort Vancouver Trust meanwhile has moved it’s contents to another hangar nearby where is has put its collection on makeshift display.

The whole kerfluffle has resulted in a bill being introduced in congress, H.R. 716 which passed out committee in March and would transfer ownership of the seven acres of land that includes the Pearson Air Museum to the city of Vancouver, though the prospect for it’s passage is deemed to be fairly slim. So for the time being at least, there are two facilities hamstrung by this dispute both gamely trying to educate the public about the history of aviation at their storied location, Pearson Field which is one of the oldest operating airfields in the United States with a history that stretches back over 100 years.

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