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Old Adobe Fiesta Committee Petaluma Chamber of Commerce 10 Petalulma Blvd. North Petaluma, Calif. 94952 July 11, 1968 [[underlined]] NEWS RELEASE [[/underlined]] One of the world's first airmail flights will be commemorated Saturday, August 17, when a 3 p.m. plaque dedication takes place at Petaluma's Kenilworth Park honoring Fred J. Wiseman. Wiseman took off from the old Kenilworth horse race track in his "kite with an engine" for Santa Rosa February 17, 1911. He was forced down about 4 1/2 miles north of Petaluma and completed his trip the next day. Included in the cargo were three letters, a bag of groceries and a bundle of newspapers. Aviation "early birds", Bay Area fly-in groups, Hamilton Field Air Force representatives, post office officials and Yerba Buena Chapter of E Clampus Vitus will join with Petaluma and Santa Rosa in the festivities. The event also helps kick off a two-day observance of the seventh annual Petaluma Old Adobe Fiesta and continues a summer-long centennial celebration in Santa Rosa. Newspaper stories of 1911 said Wiseman, with associates, built "the first practical airship in California". He had been experimenting, however, with flying two years before and once said he owned three home-made machines. Which of these made the airmail flight is not known. The Sonoma County air pioneer--also an early automobile racing contestant--erected his pianowire contraptions from pictures of the Wright Brothers' craft.
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