Historic Hopewell airport has final takeoff

A historic New Jersey airport in Hopewell Township was closed for good Sunday to make way for athletic fields.

Pilots joined the owners of the Twin Pine Airport, a site where famed pilot Charles Lindbergh once flew from, for an emotional farewell ceremony. Though the owners hope the children enjoy having the grounds, they say they were bullied into selling.

"A big part of my life has been pulled out from under me," says airport owner Jean Weasner.

Weasner and her husband have owned the airstrip for more than 50 years. They say the town raised taxes on the property in order to get them to sell.

Township officials, however, say the land will fill a desperate need for children's recreation sites.

"For years, they have played anyway they could," says Deputy Mayor John Murphy. "We've had soccer games on baseball fields, lacrosse games on blacktop because they had no place to play."

Some of the playing fields are expected to be ready by the summer. They will be shared by Hopewell Township, Hopewell Borough, Lawrence and Pennington.

Twin Pine Airport had been one of the state's last remaining grass airstrips. It has now been marked with an X to indicate it is closed to pilots.

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