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Dear Mr. Fisher,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
The June 2015 Anniversary Special Edition of the Friends of Huntley Meadows Park newsletter provides a brief history of Henry Woodhouse, the Washington Air Terminals Corporation, the “Thousand Acre Airport” sold to the federal government in 1941, and its use by the Bureau of Public Roads [known as the Public Roads Administration from 1939-1949]. It also references the George Washington Air Junction. If you haven’t already done so, we suggest that you contact the Friends of Huntley Meadows Park to inquire about the sources used in writing this article and any other historical sources that they might have in their possession or can recommend to you. We also suggest that you contact the staff of Huntley Meadows Park.
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located a record series titled Classified Central Files, 1912-1965, in the Records of the Bureau of Public Roads (Record Group 30). Boxes 72 and 73 contain records relating to the laboratory that was established on the Hybla Valley property. Box 73 includes documents relating to the purchase of the “Thousand Acre Airport” property by the Public Roads Administration. Most of the records refer to the seller as the “Washington Airport Inc.” however, at least one document has the letterhead “Washington Air Terminals Corporation, Washington Airport Inc.” We also located Central Files, 1926 - 1943 in the Records of the Federal Aviation Administration (Record Group 237) that might have information about specific airports and aviation companies. Both of these record series are in the custody of the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2). To access these records, please contact RDT2 via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We searched online using the terms “Washington Air Terminals Corporation,” "Washington Air Terminals Corp," “Washington Air Terminals Inc.”, “Washington Airport Inc.” , "Thousand Acre Airport" Washington, and “George Washington Air Junction.”
Just a few of the more significant results are as follows:
- Aeronautical Industry, June 29 1929, page 53 has a reference to an application by Washington Airport., Inc. to change its name to the Washington Flying Service.
- Aeronautical Industry, July 6, 1929, page 36 has an article about the Washington Air Terminals Corp. purchasing the property and assets of the United States Air Transport, Inc., including the Washington-New York Air Line and the Washington Airport at Arlington. It mentions the development of the Thousand-Acre Airport into a flying school and general aviation center. It also references the Washington Flying Service as being a user of the Thousand Acre Airport.
- Aviation Week, July 6, 1929 states that “The Washington Air Terminals Corporation has also obtained control of the Thousand-Acre Airport, located twelve miles south of Alexandria, Va, and the company plans to push the development of one of the most completely equipped aviation schools in the country. Among the directors of the new firm are…”
- Aero – Digest Volume 15 Sept. - Dec. 1929, which includes references to “...the Federal Aviation Corporation of New York City which owns the Washington Air Terminals, Inc.” and also to the Washington Flying Service which has a clubhouse at the “... Thousand-acre Airport of the Washington Air Terminals Corporation two miles south of Alexandria, Va. This firm is the new owner of the Washington Airport and the Washington-New York Air Line.”
- Catalog of Copyright Entries. Part 4. Works of Art, Etc. New Series includes a listing for Hybla Valley, Va., 1000 acre airport and dirigible base, for Washington airport, inc. perspective] © 1 c. Apr. 9, 1930.
- Aviation Week, October 25, 1930 includes a brief article on a lawsuit involving Washington Air Terminals and Federal Aviation Corp.
- A search of HathiTrust for "Washington Air Terminals Corporation" come up with 11 results. “Washington Air Terminals Corp.” comes up with 6 results. “Washington Air Terminals Inc” comes up with 5 results.
- HUNTLEY A Mason Family Country House By Tony P. Wrenn reference a 1930 advertisement stating “George Washington Air Junction Tract Found Ideal for Trans-Atlantic Terminal for Airships of Zeppelin and R-101 types without Interfering with Thousand-Acre Airport for Planes—Admiral Chester Shows That Historic Ancestral Lands of George Washington and George Mason, First Selected by War Department 12 Years Ago for Army Aviation Field, Afford Only Tract Ideal for Great National Air Center.”
- Wikipedia has an article on the George Washington Air Junction with multiple sources listed at the bottom.
In addition to the search results linked above, it is possible that additional searches of back issues of Washington DC, Virginia, and aviation industry periodicals will reveal more articles. The Library of Congress’s Chronicling America provides information about researching historic American newspapers. The Library of Congress also makes available a Guide to Business History Resources and has a unit dedicated to Business References Services.
The Library of Virginia acts at the state archives and state library for the Commonwealth of Virginia and has a wide variety of sources, ranging from state agency records, to donated collections, to the Virginia Newspaper Project. The Fairfax County Public Library's Virginia Room maintains collections related to local and regional history. Fairfax County Court’s Historic Records Center has a variety of court records, to include land records up to 1942. Fairfax County also has the Fairfax County History Commission.
We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!
Thank you very much Mr. Atkinson. This is very helpful and most appreciated.