A treasure trove of antique cars, trucks, tractors, and memorabilia sits off the beaten path.
Like so many communities around the world, Memphis, Missouri caught the “aviation bug” after Charles Lindbergh’s remarkable crossing of the Atlantic. The Pheasant Aircraft Company was formed in Memphis by WWI veteran and flight instructor Lee Briggs to manufacture training and utility aircraft to meet rapidly growing demand. Designed by Orville Hickman, the Pheasant H-10 was a conventional three-seat biplane, and was considered a good example of the type. Steve Wittman, who went on to become an air racing legend, was the company’s test pilot for a time. Only about 40 of these aircraft were built before the company succombed to the pressures of the Great Depression.
EAA’s Pheasant H-10, shown here at Pioneer Airport, is one of only three examples of this type that are known to remain.
The town of Memphis has commemorated their pioneering airman with a mural on the site of the original Pheasant facility.
A ghost town with a colorful history yields a few surprises.