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History of the Airmail Beacons of the Columbia Gorge with Susan Buce

May 10 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

$5.00 – $15.00

History of the Airmail Beacons of the Columbia Gorge with Susan Buce

In the beginning days of flight following WWI, delivering mail by air was a hazardous and often deadly occupation. During the 1920s and 1930s, pilots came to rely on the “Highway of Light,” a series of over 1,500 beacons that crossed the country to guide airplanes safely to their destinations. Susan Buce presents the history of the Airmail Beacons of the Columbia River Gorge, Friday, May 10. Dinner is at 6 pm and the talk begins at 7 pm.

Buce’s grandfather, Jack Buce Sr., was the “mechanician” who maintained the beacons of the Columbia Gorge, a route that covered the area from Rocky Butte in Portland, to Beacon Rock, to Pasco, Washington. The airmail beacons lit the path for the modern day commercial flight industry. Drawing on the childhood memories of her aunt, Buce weaves the family story of her grandfather with the history of the brave pilots who flew their way into aviation history.

Dinner menu is: Meat and vegetarian lasagna, salad, bread, dessert

$15.00 for the dinner and program

$5.00 for the program only

To purchase tickets – please call 541.296.8600 to check availability.

Jack M. Buce, Sr., stands next to the engine housing unit at the base of a Columbia Gorge beacon in this undated photo from the 1930’s. His granddaughter, Susan Buce, will tell of Jack’s role in maintaining the “highway of light” that guided the pilots who delivered the mail.  Contributed photo.


May 10
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
$5.00 – $15.00
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Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum
5000 Discovery Drive
The Dalles, Oregon 97058
+ Google Map
541.296.8600 #201


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