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The Collection | Aviation


Frank Miller and his guests were thrilled to learn of Orville Wright’s 12-second flight on December 17, 1903, the same year Miller opened his mission-styled hotel. Riverside was headed for an adventure in the skies that continues over 100 years later. More

  Zeppelin Hindenburg

The Zeppelin Company, the Luftschiffbau Zeppelin, produced its first rigid airship in 1900. The Zeppelins were later used during World War I. In 1924, the US government contracted with the company for two airships, one of them named the Los Angeles. They later manufactured three additional airships: The Graf Zeppelin, the Hindenburg, and the Graf Zeppelin II. More

  Military Flight Insignia

The small metal ring with the hat inside was the insignia or symbol for a group of fliers during World War I, the 94th Aero Pursuit Squadron. One of the members of the squadron was Eddie Rickenbacker. Before the war, Rickenbacker was an internationally known racecar driver. He went on to become the president of Eastern Airlines. On March 20, 1942 Rickenbacker was honored at the Mission Inn. More

  Aircraft Nose Art

During World War II, it was a common practice to personalize airplanes with images of cartoons, provocative women or other images. It was also a common practice on Army Air Corps (later Air Force) aircraft. During the Korean War there was a B-29, once stationed at March Air Force Base, that boasted nose art identifying the Mission Inn. More

  Orville Wright - Aviator

Among the collection items relating to Orville & Wilbur Wright, is a rib from one of their gliders labeled "Rib 1902 Glider," a sample of sand taken from the beach at Kitty Hawk where their famous flight took place, and a photo of Orville's wings on the Famous Fliers' Wall at the Mission Inn hotel. More

  International Shrine of the Aviator - The Famous Flier’s Wall

Mission Inn owner Frank Miller had the Saint Francis Chapel built to hold the extraordinary Rayas Altar and Louis Comfort Tiffany windows. The chapel and atrio were dedicated as the International Shrine for Aviators on December 15, 1932. A copper plaque mounted on the wall to the left of the chapel doors gives the date of the dedication. On a double cross are identified the words "Francis of Assisi Lover of Birds and Birdmen Patron Saint." Mr. Miller’s chapel became a symbol of hope and protection. More

  Early Flight

The birth of manned powered flight occurred the same year Frank Miller opened his mission-styled hotel. Mr. Miller, his guests, Riverside, and the whole world would soon learn of Orville Wright’s 12-second flight on December 17, 1903. Riverside was headed for an adventure “in the skies” that continues over 100 years later. Leading the way was Frank Miller and his beloved Mission Inn. More

  March Field

Despite the successes of the Wright Brothers and many others, it was France, Britain, Germany, and Italy who were at the forefront of aviation. The Army and the Navy were seeking to expand their fledgling aviation programs. Planes, airfields and trained flyers were needed. Could the Army be persuaded to establish an airfield in Riverside? Many believed it was possible, including Frank Miller. More

  Stained Glass

Beautiful examples of stained glass are displayed throughout the Mission Inn.  The Tiffany windows, in the St. Francis Chapel, are considered the finest examples of the art of stained glass in the hotel. A diverse collection of stained glass in varying techniques and quality is found in the Cloister Music Room, the Cloister Walk, the St. Cecilia Chapel, the Spanish Art Gallery, the Glenwood Tavern, in guest rooms, and in hallways throughout the Inn. More

  Endorsement of Passenger Flight

In a letter to friend General Hap Arnold, Dewitt Hutchings, Frank Miller’s son-in-law, once commented on being “Air Minded.” Although the term was not exclusive to the Miller-Hutchings family, they were the embodiment of it. They embraced flight with an unmatched enthusiasm. More

  Amelia Earhart

Aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart is one of over one hundred fifty aviators or groups of aviators who have been honored at the Mission Inn. On February 3, 1936, Earhart attended a ceremony at the hotel during which copper wings with her etched initials were affixed to the Famous Fliers Wall. More

  Roman Warren’s Daredevil Flight | VIDEO
Noted Riverside historian Robert J. Fitch (1988, p. 14) colorfully described how Roman Warren, known as the “Cowboy Aviator” for his skills as both a stunt horseman and pilot, came to Riverside. Warren was flying his plane to Los Angeles to be part of a movie in 1923, when he was forced to land in Riverside because his plane had run out of gas. More
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