On June 23, 1911, near this location, Wausau native John Schwister became a pio?neer of Wisconsin aviation. Research indicates that on this date Schwister flew the state's first home-built airplane capable of sustained, powered flight. Constructed of wooden ribs covered with light cotton cloth and powered by an early-model aircraft engine, Schwister's biplane flew for several hundred feet at a maximum alti?tude of twenty feet. Calling his plane the Minnesota-Badger, Schwister began the design and construction of his "flying machine" in St. Paul, Minnesota, but finished it in Rothschild, Wisconsin. Initially, Schwister flight-tested his biplane as a glider, towing it behind an automobile like a kite. He also built his own airplane hangar here. Schwister made many flights in 1911, including a 27-mile flight in which he soared to 2,000 feet, higher than nearby Rib Mountain. In 1912, Schwister was seriously injured in a plane crash, yet he continued to construct and fly his own airplanes making him Wisconsin's first successful "home-builder."