|entrance to McClellan Park|
|one of two identical pillars frame the entrance|
When we first located our business near McClellan AFB in 1993, I would wonder what secrets lay behind the bars and guards. Two years later Jessica's ballet class performed as part of the entertainment for the officers holiday party. We had to be there a little early. We were allowed entry into the forbidden base. It sure would have been exciting to venture beyond the specific route, but we didn't dare chance it...
McClellan had been a logistics and maintenance facility for a wide variety of military aircraft. During our years in the area it was primarily a repair facility for F-111, FB-111 and EF-111 aircraft, as well as the A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft. Often times we would hear the test flights and see the jets zoom nearly vertical less than a mile away. It was only bothersome if we happened to be on the phone at that particular moment. Otherwise, it was an awesome sight to see!
Ron and I wondered what was going to happen to the area once the base was closed. We envisioned increased crime rates, increased transients and decreased property values. Thankfully, those were all fears that did not develop into reality.
I remember the first few times I drove through the base. It was unbelievable to me -> McClellan was actually a city within a city. I was amazed that they had their own gas station, their own movie theater, their own fitness gym complete with tennis & basketball courts, their own grocery store (commissary), their own hospital, lots of housing and plenty of very large warehouse type structures. I knew nothing about military bases or their need to be autonomous. I was a young mom whose only concern was her family. What a mind full of new information I received.
While driving through the park to capture these photos, I wondered what life was like in the days of old. Days when the buildings housed assembly lines of engines awaiting repair . Days when blackout curtains were the normalcy. Days when the airstrip held hundreds of planes waiting to fly off into battle.
Enjoy the following photos of McClellan Park and imagine yourself in years gone by:
|a grassy area outside the officers quarters|
|the Headquarters Building is still looking glorious|
|the General's house sits next to the Headquarters Building|
|I wonder what was in here|
|the retired control tower|
|private and corporate jets occupy the tarmac now|
As for myself, I am glad to be neighbors with McClellan Park. Although, I do miss a good ol' Mach 1 takeoff...