History

Here's a numerical look at our history. We've come a long way in the last 25 years!


Here We Grow!

We'd like to see you visit us at the Estrella Warbird Museum! Hours of operation are Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Estrella Warbirds Museum
4251 Dry Creek Road
Paso Robles, CA 93446
805 238-9317

Estrella Warbirds Museum
Estrella Warbirds Museum
is honored to be the home of:





Growth

By the Numbers

  1. August 1989:  While participating in an air show at Moffet Field, founders Glen Thomson and Gary Corippo were so impressed with the display of the Golden Gate Wing of the Confederate Air Force (now the Commemorative Air Force) that they decided to establish a squadron at Paso Robles.
  2. January 1990:  The CAF Estrella Squadron was established with 43 aviators and enthusiasts on board. The squadron is named after the Estrella Army Airfield where it is located.  During this period, meetings were held at a hangar in the Nunno Corp. property.
  3. May 1993: The Estrella Warbird Museum was incorporated as a 501(C) (3) non-profit corporation.  The EWM would be a sub-committee of the CAF Estrella Squadron and all actions by the EWM sub-committee would be brought before the Squadron Staff.
  4. July 1993:  A lease with the City of Paso Robles for 3.73 acres of raw land on the Paso Robles airport along Dry Creek Road was signed and the first building was erected shortly thereafter. Because of the non-profit status, the lease was obtained for $1.00 a year provided the Estrella Warbird Museum put on an air show one a year with a minimum of 5000 paid attendees, five to ten military displays, air performances by “quality acts” such as the Coors Bullet Jet, the US Air Force Thunderbirds, military fly-bys, etc; have City non-profit organizations with the first opportunity to have food concession at the show, market the event statewide and provide the city with 10% of all revenue or $1.00 per each car parked, whichever was greater.  Operations were a joint function of the squadron and the Museum, putting on a number of well-attended air shows.
  5. August 23, 1995:  The Museum obtained a loan for $80,000 from the City of Paso Robles for improvements.  The loan has long since been repaid. 
  6. June 3, 1997:  As an incentive for further expansion, an additional five acres were added to the lease.
  7. July 16,1997:  A motion was passed to merge the CAF Estrella Squadron and EWM. 
  8. 1998:  The Thomson Membership Hall was built with provision for a commercial kitchen with outside barbecue to serve meals, and research library on the second floor.
  9. December 15, 1999:  A motion passed to sell all CAF fixed assets to the Estrella Warbird Museum for the sum of $4200.00.
  10. January 19, 2000:  CAF Estrella Squadron disbanded and the remaining assets were transferred to the Estrella Warbirds Museum. 
  11. September 09, 2001:  The last Air Show was performed. 
  12. July 17, 2002:  Due to the events of September 11, 2001, the complexity and cost of the Air Show, the Museum went back to the City to renegotiate their lease to delete this event.
  13. March 1, 2005:  The City signed an amendment to the lease giving the Museum an additional 1.96 acres in compensation for the clear zone easement for runway 31/13 that would affect the Museum's existing leasehold.
  14. 2005:  Freedom Hall was completed using donations.
  15. November 2008:  The first outside grant was obtained from the Hind Foundation for facilities improvements.
  16. January 2009:  The Brooks building for the storage of restored vehicles was finished.
  17. March 2009:  Construction began on Woodland Building to display automobiles and was officially opened on July 19, 2009.
  18. November 2011:  The Brooks building was expanded using Museum money and a donation from the Brooks family. 
  19. December 2011: The Hind Foundation again granted money for the construction of a new entrance connecting Freedom Hall and the Brooks Building.  This addition is called the Hind Pavilion.  Construction began in December of 2011.
  20. The Woodland Auto Display was expanded three times between 2001-2016
  21. The Red Ball Motor Pool was added in 2015 following a donation from Herman Pfauter. Mr Pfauter placed a series of restored WWII era vehicles on loan for display at Estrella Warbird Museum.
  22. November, 2016. The City again wrote an amendment to the lease giving the Museum an additional 9+ acres of land for future expansion.