The Aeronautic Society of New York  
       The membership had grown to a total of eighty, and all efforts were being devoted to a
hunt for suitable grounds. Every likely place within fifty miles of New York was visited,
so that nothing good might be missed, and nearly a couple of months were spent in the
     What the Society needed in the way of ground was not very easy to find. Free, open
space over which to fly was not alone sufficient. It was equally, if not, indeed, still more
necessry, that the grounds should be close to the city. For it was the ambition of the
Society to have its grounds so near at hand that the distance should place no obstacle
in the way even of the poorest inventor who wanted to run out to the workshops and
devote his spare hours to the material realization of his ideas.
       At last, the famous old racetrack at Morris Park was decided upon, and, although
it was already marked for residential development, a lease was obtained holding it up to
Dec. 31st, 1909. The location was perfect, and the spot seemed ideal. The track had not
been used for horse racing for some years, but automobile races had been held, and both
the track and the infield had been kept in very good condition. There were also large
sheds ready, with a little fixing, to become workshops and aero garages. And the use
of a large room was obtained in the fine old clubhouse for the holding of meetings, and
as an office
     Containing in one clear, level space so much as 327 acres, Morris Park was more
considerable in extent than could have been hoped for, so close within reach of the
city. In fact, it was part of the city. Except for the posts marking the old race courses,
which could be moved, it was free from obstructions, and seemed made for a perfect aero-
drome. It was within a short walk of the subway at West Farms or Bronx Park. Trolley
cars ran up to it. It lay within a forty minutes', 5-cent, journey from the centre of New
York. Within a minute's walk of the workshops were good and inexpensive cafes. For those
who wished permanent quarters in the district, there was considerable choice among the
houses; and rent was cheap. Consequently, there was, right at hand, every possible sort of
accommodation that might be required.
     The first of those gatherings, which subsequently became so famous and popular at
the Park on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, took place on Aug. 29th and 30th, 1908. The
regular weekly meetings were held in the Society's room in the big, lawn and flower-
surrounded clubhouse, and in the warm evenings of the Summer and Fall were very
delightful occasions. several lectures of note were also given there. it is safe, however,
to believe that, great as were the hopes on that first Saturday afternoon, when the mem-
bers met to view the new grounds, and to foreshadow the future, none, even among the
most enthusiastic, imagined then the progress which was to be made within a few months.
     It was a notable, historical little gathering, and one that may well be recalled with
feelings even deeper than pleasure. It was the first time in the history of the world that a
group of citizens had ever gazed out over a wide tract of land that they had taken for
the purposes of mechanical flight. The Society that day set an example that was soon to


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