It’s Wiseman’s Plane – Is it Kenilworth Park?

by Bill.Hammerman

OK – in Part I of this extended blog, we concluded that the grass vegetation and trees in the background of a picture showing the Wiseman-Cooke plane taking off at a race track matched those in another photograph identified as Kenilworth Park, Petaluma, California.
Published in: on March 2, 2011 at 8:21 am  Comments Off on It’s Wiseman’s Plane – Is it Kenilworth Park?  

Wiseman Flight Confirmation – At Last!

by Bill.Hammerman

Even though the Fred Wiseman souvenir postcard was designed with one of the four photos showing his plane taking off on an exhibition flight in Petaluma, sometime in 1910; it was not sent to the printers with 100% confidence. This blog will attempt to reveal the “hysterical” journey behind the search for “historical” accuracy. Are you ready to take off? Fasten your seat belts.


Published in: on February 28, 2011 at 7:44 am  Comments Off on Wiseman Flight Confirmation – At Last!  

Fred… you are still flying high

by Bill.Hammerman

Two days is a long time for a letter to travel from Petaluma to Santa Rosa.  One hundred years is a much longer time; but that how long it took for a stamp to be produced in honor of your historic first airmail flight in 1911.


Published in: on February 20, 2011 at 9:06 pm  Comments Off on Fred… you are still flying high  

Fred Wiseman is ready to fly!

by Bill.Hammerman

The “Trio” blog team for Petaluma360 woke up this morning wondering if the reenactment airmail  flight of Fred J. Wiseman announced for “take off” around noon on February 19 would be able take place due to the recent rain and wet weather? Collectively, “Me, Myself, & I” wonder if history might repeat itself?


Published in: on February 16, 2011 at 8:34 pm  Comments Off on Fred Wiseman is ready to fly!  

Are you ready to take off?

by Bill.Hammerman

On this day, in 1911, Fed Wiseman was probably waiting for the rains to stop and the race track soil at Kenilworth Park to dry out in order for him to make a return flight from Petaluma, where he made most of his practice flights in 1910., to Santa Rosa. He was learning how to fly the first practical airplane built in California.


Published in: on February 13, 2011 at 12:34 pm  Comments Off on Are you ready to take off?  

Fred Wiseman is Flying High

by Bill.Hammerman

Yesterday was quite a day for Fred Wiseman Centennial Celebration enthusiasts. The scale model of his 1911 airplane (built by PAPA volunteers), that flew the first airmail letter on a flight (open to the public) from Petaluma to Santa Rosa, 100 years ago on February 17-18, 1911, was “flown” by a AAA truck from the Petaluma Airport (where it has been hanging from a hanger ceiling) to the Petaluma Historical Museum, where it is now “flying” high in time for the opening night of their “Flight – A Tribute to Aviation” exhibit on Wednesday, February 2, at 6:00 p.m.


Published in: on January 30, 2011 at 3:33 pm  Comments Off on Fred Wiseman is Flying High  

At last – A Personalized Stamp for Fred Wiseman

by Bill.Hammerman

Finally, after previous efforts by local citizens who have campaigned and lobbied for Fred Wiseman’s historic flight on February 17-18, 1911, when he carried letters from the public, as well as one from the Petaluma Postmaster to the Postmaster of Santa Rosa; a personalized stamp acknowledging the fact he was the pilot who flew a heavier than air machine that delivered a letter, along with other cargo, from Petaluma to Santa Rosa, has been created.


Published in: on January 27, 2011 at 1:00 am  Comments Off on At last – A Personalized Stamp for Fred Wiseman  

Ah, the Holidays Are Over

by Bill.Hammerman

With the Centennial Anniversary of Fred Wiseman’s historic airmail flight from Petaluma to Santa Rosa coming up next month (February 17-18), publicizing the various celebration events and activities throughout Sonoma County is top priority right now. One major concern about all the information that has been published about this historic event is that, after 100 years, there are still questions about some of the facts connected to his two-day flight from Kenilworth Park to Enz Dairy via Denman Flat. In addition, it is sad to find out that many Sonoma County residents have never heard about Fred Wiseman.

One way that you, the readers of this blog might help is to share this information with five to ten friends. If 100 readers do this, that means 1000 people will know what is going on to commemorate the feats of this famous pioneer aviator. If these 1000 friends and family members, in turn, contact just five more people, the total becomes 5,000. Where can you find more detailed information about Fred Wiseman and celebration events throughout Sonoma County, click on Please share this link with others. (Isn’t e-mail great?)

Then scroll down the “Our River Town” site and you will find several blogs related to Fred Wiseman. Additional blogs will be posted over the next month, so check back from time to time. These blogs are available 24/7. Look for the next Wiseman blog that will be a calendar of Fred Wiseman Airmail Flight Centennial  Celebration events scheduled in Cloverdale, Windsor, Healdsburg, Santa Rosa, Cotati, and Petaluma.

Fasten your seat belts, get ready to take off on this historic adventure.

Published in: on January 15, 2011 at 4:51 pm  Comments Off on Ah, the Holidays Are Over  

Who was first? So what? Part I

by Bill.Hammerman

As we have stated in an earlier post about Fred Wiseman’s airmail flight from February 17-18, 1911, “what is your definition of “first?” If you are concerned about who made the first “official” airmail flight, then it can be argued that the answer is: The first official experiment at flying Air Mail to be made under the aegis of the United States Post Office Department took place on September 23, 1911….


Published in: on November 26, 2010 at 4:59 pm  Comments Off on Who was first? So what? Part I  

Fred Wiseman Panel Discussion

Panel Discussion about Fred Wiseman and the first airmail flight in 1911.

Moderated by Lee Torliatt


Steve Lehman – Windsor Historical Society

Al Morgan – Pacific Coast Air Museum

Guy Smith – Sonoma County Historical Society

Bill Hammerman – Petaluma Museum

Mike Glose – Petaluma Airport


Santa Rosa Central Library, Forum Room (On the left after you enter the front doors)

Published in: on October 29, 2010 at 11:56 am  Comments Off on Fred Wiseman Panel Discussion