Recreating a moment from Charles Lindbergh’s past, grandson finally gets the Wright family mansion photo

Famed aviator visited Dayton a month after 1927 solo transatlantic flight

Last year, Erik Lindbergh, the grandson of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh, made a visit to Hawthorn Hill, the historic Wright family mansion.

Stephen Wright, great-grandnephew of the Wright Brothers, (left) and Erik Lindbergh, grandson of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh, pose together in 2017on the balcony of Hawthorn Hill, Orville Wright's Oakwood mansion. In 1927 Charles Lindbergh visited Orville Wright at the home a month after his record-setting solo flight from New York to Paris. A crowd gathered on the lawn and Lindbergh stepped briefly onto the balcony to greet them. The men are holding a photograph of the historic moment. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Lindbergh, a pilot, entrepreneur and artist, visited several area aviation heritage sites during a tour arranged by the National Aviation Heritage Alliance. 

During the visit to the historic Oakwood mansion, Lindbergh re-enacted a moment from his grandfather’s past. On June 22, 1927 Charles Lindbergh visited Orville Wright at the mansion a month after setting a record for a solo flight from New York to Paris. 

» RELATED: How Dayton came to a standstill to honor the 1948 death of Orville Wright

On June 22, 1927, Charles Lindbergh (right) flew into Dayton to pay his respects to Orville Wright (left). At center is Major John Curry. It was estimated that over 50,000 people lined the streets of Dayton that led from Wright Field to Orville Wright s home in Oakwood in hopes of trying to catch a glimpse of the famous flier. Lindbergh, however, refused to allow the car to take him through the crowded route and even threatened to get out and take a taxi to Orville s home unless the auto was routed through back streets to avoid the crowd. It was explained later that Lindbergh had been promised no demonstrations, yet officials had lied and set up a parade for him through the city, which was why he had acted as he had.
Photo: HANDOUT

During the visit a crowd gathered on the lawn outside. Lindbergh briefly stepped out onto a balcony to greet the crowd. The only known photograph of the event, taken by William Preston Mayfield, captures the crowd waving toward the balcony. But the angle the photo is taken from does now reveal Lindbergh himself. 

Dayton photographer William Preston Mayfield took this photograph of a crowd gathered on the lawn of Hawthorn Hill, Orville Wright's mansion, waving to famed aviator Charles Lindbergh who was on a balcony unseen in the photo. Lindbergh's visit to Wright's Oakwood mansion took place June 22, 1927, a month after his record-setting solo flight from New York to Paris. DAYTON HISTORY

“Sometimes I feel like the legacy is so intense and poignant that all we can do is look back at that history and celebrate it and leverage it to move forward and create a brilliant future for our kids and our children’s children,” said Erik Lindbergh after posing for photos on the balcony with Stephen Wright, great-grandnephew of the Wright brothers. 

“So to the extent that we can preserve this history and look at it and really use it to take that next step so that we can thrive and survive into the future that’s the most important thing we can do with our lives.”

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