Historical Events from the 20th Century
Fred Wiseman's plane is on display in the Smithsonion Museum in Washington D.C. It was the first California built airplane and flew the worlds first airmail.
A bicycle mechanic and aviation pioneer, Fred Wiseman and his aviator partner, Jean "John” Peters, lived in Windsor in 1910. It was here that they built the very first airplane in California, and taught themselves to fly it on the Laughlin Ranch near present day Shiloh Road and the railroad tracks. On February 18, 1911, Wiseman transported two letters to Santa Rosa Postmaster H. L. Tripp from Petaluma Postmaster John Olmsted. When those letters were delivered, Fred Wiseman flew into record books as the pilot who carried the first airmail sanctioned by a U.S. postal authority.
During World War II, a U.S. Army air base (now the Sonoma County Airport) was built in Windsor, where fighter planes were a familiar sight and sound. In 1943, a German prisoner- of-war camp was established west of downtown Windsor. Captured German submarine crews and members of the Africa Corp were brought to the camp, where they worked on farms. Old timers remember prisoners playing friendly games of soccer, chasing balls over a fence, and returning in the evening after a day in town. The camp closed shortly after the war ended and now all that remains are the foundations.
How was life at Camp Windsor?
They lived simply and worked hard, but life wasn't all work, they had a bit of fun, too!
Erected by Town of Windsor.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & Space • War, World II. A significant historical date for this entry is February 18, 1911.
Location. 38° 32.918′ N, 122° 48.944′ W. Marker is in Windsor, California, in Sonoma County. Marker can be reached from McClelland Drive. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Windsor CA 95492, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Early Windsor's People: The Southern Pomo (a few steps from this marker); Present Day Windsor (a few steps from this marker); Windsor's Historically Important Families (within shouting distance of this marker); East Windsor: The First Gathering Place (within shouting distance of this marker); West Windsor: The New Gathering Place (within shouting distance of this marker); Nature and Agriculture (within shouting distance of this marker); Shiloh Cemetery (approx. 1.6 miles away); Walters Ranch Hop Kiln (approx. 2.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Windsor.
More about this marker. The marker is located in the southwest portion of the Windsor Town Green.
Also see . . .
1. POW Camp (Windor Historical Society). (Submitted on July 27, 2020.)
2. Fred Wiseman's First Airmail Flight (YouTube, 2 min.). Not mentioned on the marker, Wiseman's flight, recognized as the first US airmail flight, was interrupted
Credits. This page was last revised on July 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 27, 2020, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 71 times since then and 18 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 27, 2020, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.