The Route: Long Island to Cleveland

Pilots flying the mail cross-country in 1921 followed these directions to find landmarks along the way.

Landing field at Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, October 1935. Note the "large white circle" called out in the directions. (NASM (SI-91-8506))

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114.    Mauch Chunk—Three miles north of Lehighton and on the direct course.

121.    Central Railroad of New Jersey—Two long triangular bodies of water northwest of the railroad followed by eight or nine small artificial lakes or ponds about half a mile apart almost parallel with the course but veering slightly to the south.

148.    Catawissa Mountain Range, which appears to curve in a semi-circle about a large open space of country directly on the course. To the north of the course may be seen the eastern branch of the Susquehanna. Fly parallel to this until Shamokin Creek is picked up. This creek is very black and is paralleled by two railroads. Shamokin Creek empties into the Susquehanna just below Sunbury.

168.    Sunbury, Pa.—At the junction of the two branches of the Susquehanna River. The infield of a race track on a small island at the junction of the two rivers furnishes a good landing field. The river to the south of Sunbury is wider than to the north and is filled with numerous small islands. The two branches to the north have practically no islands. If the river is reached and Sunbury is not in sight look for islands. If there are none, follow the river south to Sunbury. If islands are numerous, follow the river north to Sunbury.

170.    Lewisburg, Pa.—Two miles west of Sunbury and 8 miles north.

174.    After leaving Sunbury the next landmark to pick up is Penns Creek, which empties into the Susquehanna 7 miles south of Sunbury. Flying directly on the course, Penns Creek is reached 6 miles after it joins the Susquehanna 7 miles south of Sunbury.

178.    New Berlin—Identified by covered bridge over Penns Creek.

185.    The Pennsylvania Railroad from Lewisburg is crossed at the point where the range of mountains coming up from the southwest ends. The highway leaves the railroad here and goes up into Woodward Pass, directly on the course. A white fire tower may be seen on the crest of the last mountain to the north on leaving the pass.

202.    The next range of mountains is crossed through the pass at Millheim, a small town. A lone mountain may be seen to the south just across the Pennsylvania tracks.

217.    Bellefonte, Pa.—After crossing another mountain range without a pass Bellafonte will be seen against the Bald Eagle Mountain Range. On top of a mountain, just south of a gap in the Bald Eagle Range at Bellefonte, may be seen a clearing with a few trees scattered in it. This identifies this gap from others in the same range. The mail field lies just east of town and is marked by a large white circle. A white line marks the eastern edge of the field where there is a drop of nearly 100 feet.

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