Jack Vilas  
  First Forest Patrol Flight.  
  The First Forest Patrol Flight was made from Trout Lake by
Jack Vilas June 23, 1915. Vilas was commissioned "Official
Aviator" by the Wisconsin State Board of Forestry (now Wis-
consin Conservation Department) and on his own request re-
ceived no salary other than "many thanks." During July and
August, 1915, patrol flights were made almost daily in a Curtiss
Flying Boat. Vilas had shipped his plane from Chicago to Trout
Lake by train. In those days the 350 mile flight from Chicago
would have taken several days and a crew of special mechanics
following in a train, to keep the "flying machine" going. The
flights from here by Jack Vilas marked the first time anywhere
that an aircraft was used in detecting and locating forest fires
and patrolling large forest areas.
The above is the text shown on the marker

Historical Marker Dedication
  You are cordially invited to be present
at the dedication of an Historical marker
erected by the Wisconsin Historical markers Commission
to commemorate the "First Forest Patrol Flight"
made by Jack Vilas at Trout Lake, Wisconsin, June 23, 1955.

The dedication is to be on Saturday, October 15, 1955
at 1:30 p.m. at the marker site,
Trout Lake, Vilas County, Wisconsin

  Remarks   Mr. Jack Vilas
Evanston, Illinois
  Band Music SELECTED   The Arbor Vitae-Woodruff
High School Band
Kenneth Daniels, Director
Documents courtesy of Harry Jones, 8-17-07

     If you search for "Jack Vilas" +Wisconsin, using the Google search engine, (9-26-07), you will find about 235 links. Our good friend Greg Powers has alerted me to this one.

Vilas Flying Boat
     This page has a beautiful photo of his flying boat which he used to spot forest fires in Wisconsin. You can access the site by clicking on the title above.

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