It All Began in 1799
The settlement known today as Fairborn was established in 1799, though it wasn’t until 1950 when the Ohio State Legislature designated the town the City of Fairborn. As far as is known, it is the only city of its name in the United States. Since its inception, Fairborn has been associated with progress in cutting-edge technology. Following their historic first flight in North Carolina, the Wright brothers did most of their development work at the Huffman Prairie site just west of town.
In 1916, the War Department purchased 25,000 acres for a flying school and aviation depot. With the advent of World War I, the depot’s importance vastly increased as both a training and supply center. The Fairfield Air Depot became a unique and integral part of the nation’s defense structure. Now known as Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the site is “the largest, most diverse and organizationally complex base in the Air Force.” It remains important as a supply and logistics center, is home to one of the Air Force’s major medical centers, and hosts highly advanced aerospace research at its Air Force Research Laboratory.