Frances Grayson, Old Orchard Beach, 1927

Contributed by Maine Historical Society/MaineToday Media

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On October 10, 1927, Famed female aviator Frances Wilson Grayson, niece of President Woodrow Wilson, landed her Sikorsky S-36 amphibian plane on Old Orchard Beach. Her goal was to set up base in Old Orchard for her transatlantic flight to Copenhagen.

Miss Grayson landed in Maine to much fanfare and excitement. Poor weather hampered her attempts to make the flight from Maine; during the first attempt the plane turned around immediately due to high winds, and the second flight her pilot Wilmer Stultz made the decision to turn around after 500 miles due to dangerous weather.

Not deterred from her failure in Maine, Frances Grayson attempted to complete the trip again on December 23, 1927. Her flight plan was to fly from Long Island to Newfoundland and then eventually to London. Grayson and her crew took of at 5:07 P.M. from Long Island. The crew radioed that something was wrong later in the evening and the plane never reached Newfoundland; their remains were never found and the last time they were seen was off of the coast of Cape Cod at 7:10 P.M. Frances Grayson was 35 years old when she died.

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About This Item

  • Title: Frances Grayson, Old Orchard Beach, 1927
  • Creation Date: 1927-10-27
  • Subject Date: 1927-10-27
  • Location: Old Orchard Beach, York County, ME
  • Media: Glass Negative
  • Dimensions: 8.3 cm x 10.8 cm
  • Local Code: Coll. 1949, 2005.061.16436
  • Collection: Portland Press Herald glass negative collection
  • Object Type: Image

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Maine Historical Society/MaineToday Media
489 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

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