One of the reasons why many Petalumans are so knowledgeable about Fred Wiseman’s first airmail flight in 1911, and dedicated to seeing that its Centennial Anniversary is properly acknowledged is due to the various columns written by Bill Soberanes over the years. Today’s blog will remember Bill Soberanes’ promotional efforts by capturing several statements from his June 3, 1997 column:

I’ve written reams of material about Fred J. Wiseman’s air mail flight from Petaluma to Santa Rosa which took place on Feb. 17, 1911.

A monument with a Wiseman plaque was set up, and I was chairman of the Wiseman celebration…. The monument contained memorabilia from some of the most early birds of aviation, who were on hand for the celebration.

In recent years Petaluman Barry Lawrence and Mayor Patricia Hilligoss have shown great interest in the Wiseman airmail flight. Barry Lawrence sent me the following letter:

“Seeing our airport float in the recent Butter and Egg Days parade showing the first airmail flight in the world, has reminded me that Mayor Hilligoss and myself were standing under the actual Wiseman airplane, which about three years ago was completely renovated by the Smithsonian staff. It now hangs in the United StatesPostalMuseum (the old Union Station) in Washington, D.C. There’s a plaque that states: “Look up.” In 1911, this Wiseman-Cooke aircraft made the first airplane-carried mail flight officially sanctioned by a U.S. post office.”

Barry Lawrence went on to say in 15 years we will no doubt see a Wiseman 100-year old airmail flight stamp. The question will be – what will the price of the stamp cost for first class mail in 2011?

Stay tuned! A Fred Wiseman personalized stamp and post card is in the works. Look for an announcement to be made no later than the beginning of the New Year!