Takeoff for Halter Ranch

This month marks the official (re)opening of the Halter Ranch Airport. Part of what makes this property so special is that the past is so intertwined with our present. This holds true for the airstrip and its history dating back to the 1960s.

To get the complete picture of the extensive history of the Halter Ranch Airstrip, one must start at the beginning.

In 1943 J.F. MacGillivray purchased a piece of ranchland in Adelaida and named it MacGillivray Ranch, a perfect place to raise his young family. As time went on, the innovative MacGillivray family built a hunting lodge on their property to attract hunters as well as built several small cabins throughout the ranch to host their guests. Additionally, the ranch served as an event space for many local gatherings. Visiting the ranch became so sought after that the MacGillivrays realized they needed a way to make it more accessible for guests to come and visit. In 1967, with the help of neighbors, the MacGillivrays built a small airstrip on the property to accommodate guests traveling from different parts of the state. The community was often invited to the ranch to participate in short landing contests, flower sack bombings, and air shows.

The continued success of the MacGillivray Ranch’s events garnered the attention of Governor Ronald Reagan. On June 14, 1970, Reagan held a massive party at the ranch to announce his reelection campaign for the Governor of California. Thousands of locals attended and demonstrated their support with a barbecue luncheon hosted by the Republican Women’s Club. As time went on, guest fly-ins became more infrequent and in the 1980’s stopped almost altogether.

Fast forward 20 years to 2000, Hansjörg Wyss bought the ranch from the MacGillivrays and named it Halter Ranch, after his mother Alice Halter. The airstrip became a freeway of sorts for the daily vineyard and farm traffic. In early 2020 restoration of the airstrip began, and so did the process to once again become FAA certified. In late 2021, 89CA, or the Halter Ranch Airport, became certified. It has officially opened for Wine Club Members to fly in and enjoy the spectacular property that has been visited by many over the years.

With a deep appreciation for the past, we look forward to the wonderful future of the Halter Ranch Airport.

Date Published: September 29, 2021

Category: News

 Gracie Nino

Gracie Nino

Gracie Nino