Lark O' the Lake Festival
July 12-14, 2013 Sky Harbor Airport Come for Fun!
winter I let these two instructors take the ship and fly to
develop an air ferry." Julius
two instructors were Tony and Roger Jannus. They brought the
Lark back to St. Louis to lengthen the wings. After the
modifications were completed, they brought her to St. Petersburg,
Florida to develop the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line.
The Lark arrived on December 31, 1913 by rail and on
January 1, 1914, flew the inaugural flight of the first
commercial air ship line.
are going to do something here this winter which never has been
done before and which will attract attention for all the
world." Tom Benoist, 1913
January 1, 1914, The Lark of Duluth flew
the inaugural flight of
the first commercial air ship line.
the airboat arrived yesterday morning, a crowd of 2,000 was
waiting near the temporary landing, another 1,000 saw what they
could from the Lafayette Street Bridge, and 500 more were across
the river. When the dock was reached, an enthusiastic cheer went
up, and there was a clapping and the waving of hats and
handkerchiefs. A moment later, there was a rush down the three
narrow planks connecting the platform with the shore; men, women
and children fighting to get down to the boat and its two
occupants." Tampa Tribune, January 2, 1914
addition to the scheduled flights, about 100 charter and
sightseeing flights were reported in the two airboats. An
estimated $12,000 in fares was taken in, but the freight cost of
getting the planes to Florida, employees wages, gas and oil
allowed only a small profit. The last official airline flight
was made on May 5, 1914.
Lark of Duluth returned to Duluth the following summer for
another Lark O’ the Lake Carnival. Roger Jannus toured
throughout the surrounding territory conducting general
exhibition and passenger service.
Barnes, The Lark of Duluth, the Jannus pilots and the Benoist
Aircraft Company inspire a new economy of air travel. Although St.
Petersburg, Florida takes credit for her flight and proudly
displays her replica in their museum, Duluthians now know it
truly began in the hearts of men and on the shores of Lake