One of Petaluma’s most significant historical events was the delivery of letters from Petaluma to Santa Rosa, February 17-18, 1911, via an airplane. Due to engine problems, the flight took two days. Whether or not it was the first such flight is still debated today.
Wiseman’s flight in 1911 aroused the interest of the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce, which urged all persons interested in the event to urge Congress to recognize the authenticity of the Wiseman flight by having the Post Office Department issue a special commemorative stamp in 1961. In 1986, in recognition of Wiseman’s flight, the City Councils of Petaluma, Santa Rosa, and the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors passed resolutions proposing such a commemorative stamp be issued. A local committee, the Petaluma for the Wiseman Commemorative Stamp Project was created and submitted design sketches Wiseman’s airplane that would be suitable for such a stamp to be issued on the 75th Anniversary (1986) of the world’s fist recorded flight, carrying letters by an airplane. No stamps were issued.
Finally, in 2011, when Petaluma celebrated the 100th Anniversary of Wiseman’s flight, a commemorative stamp and souvenir envelope were designed and printed for sale by the Petaluma Historical Society. The Petaluma Historical Museum will have these envelopes and stamps for sale at their front desk for $3.00 each or two for $5.00, Thursday through Sunday. Lest we forget.