The Havilah Herald

Official Publication of the Havilah Centennial Group, Inc.

aka The Havilah Historical Society and Museum

Havilah California – September 2018

A recognized 501 C 3 Historical Organization (all donations are 100% tax-deductible)

Dedicated to the preservation of the history of Havilah,

The first County Seat of Kern County, CA

Our Purpose:

The purpose of this corporation is Educational. The organization has been formed and is maintained to research, document, preserve, and share the historic legacy of the town of Havilah, California, and of Kern County, California. Included in this purpose is the objective to provide for the advancement of education about the history of Havilah and early Kern County to the local community at large and to any and all visitors to the community.

                                               The Prez Sez, for September 2018 

Sorry for missing the last meeting; I was really looking forward to being there.  I am very rarely sick, but the last meeting day was an exception.  I was down for a week and a half, and hoping to be better by then. I waited until the last minute before calling our V.P., Larry.  But I thought it was much better that I stay home, rather than coming and coughing throughout the whole meeting.  Didn’t want to spread this stuff around.

On another note, Jayne will have to miss the September meeting. She has been asked to give her “Law and Disorder in Kern County, 1866 to 1915” PowerPoint presentation to the Historical Society up in Frazier Park, the Ridge Route area, and they meet on the same day as we do.  It’s a long program, about 101 slides, but there are excellent examples of historical events that have taken place since we first became our own county.  We have to thank Sheriff Donny Youngblood for allowing us to “steal” some of the previous Sheriff’s photos off his website.  Jayne did a lot of historical research to put this program together.  Too bad she didn’t get the same cooperation from the Bakersfield PD.

Once again, I’d like to remind everyone that nominations for officers for the coming year will begin in October.  We will take nominations at the October and then again at the November regular monthly meetings.  The election will be held at the November meeting since we normally don’t have a membership meeting in December, but have our annual Holiday Party on the December meeting day.  Please remember to bring an unwrapped gift or gifts to the party so we can donate them to a local “Toys for Tots” for use here in the Valley.  Thanks again to all of our officers and members that keep showing up and lending a hand when needed.  We could not survive without you!  We certainly would like to see some of our other members faces at the meetings.  Come on ya’ll.  We don’t bite (not hard anyway)!

                                                                                                                         See ya’ at the next meeting!

                                                                                                                                        — Prez Al


                                                                     The Hanging of the Chinese Cook

                                                                                       From Great Ghosts of the West by Richard Webb & submitted by Prez Al


Sometime in the mid eighteen hundreds, Wong came from Hong Kong by way of San Francisco to Mount Breckenridge, and to a logging camp that was up in the mountains of the area.  He was employed as a cook in the camp, and one day refused the advances of a rather inebriated married white woman.  Angered at being rebuked, she tore her clothes, and ran and lied to five loggers about how Wong had tried to rape her. The loggers grabbed poor Wong, dragged him to a nearby tree, and strung him up.  After watching him die, the five men then went into the mess hall and ate the food Wong had just prepared for lunch.

A poor attempt at an investigation ensued, but the loggers and the woman stuck to their stories and no proof was found that the loggers were guilty of any crime.  After all, he was just a Chinaman.

The story goes that either one of the Tong was psychic or the Tong utilized ancient Taoist techniques, but whatever the reason, the ghost of Wong appeared to them and guided the five Tong members in identifying his murderers.  He pointed out each one in turn to his fellow Chinese, and they imparted justice on the murderer.  It happened a few months later when five Chinese men showed up in town.  They mostly stayed to themselves, didn’t look for work, and had plenty of money with them to spend.  These five Chinese were part of a Tong from San Francisco, and had come for retribution on those who had strung Wong up.  No one would speak to them about the incident, and the Tong had no way of knowing who had actually been involved in the hanging.  But, nevertheless, one by one, the five loggers disappeared.  In some cases their families still remained, and they didn’t move; they just disappeared.  To this day, no bodies have ever been found, or any grave.  When the last of the five loggers disappeared, the five Chinese Tong members quietly left town.

A few decades later, the entire area was turned into Lake Isabella, but the ghost of Wong is said to still float above the waters, pointing out his accused. 


                                                                                                                                                *  *  *  *  *


The following article was taken from the Fence Post Country Reader, May 1998, written by Wayne Moody under the heading “Half Truths & Tall Tales.”  While the article is a little long for this publication, your Editor found it too funny to try to condense….enjoy.


(Note the Fence Post was invited to judge a chili cook off in Ridgecrest and the judges chosen were Rick Zanutto, Calendar Hacksaw, and Wayne Moody.  Piute resident Dale M. offered to be the designated driver):


Chili Entry #1:  Mammaw’s Mountain Mama Chili

Rick:  An amusing chili, a bit heavy on the tomato, a chili fit for women and children.

Calendar:  A quaint chili, nice tomato flavor, very mild.

Wayne:  Holy cow, what is this stuff?  You could use this to strip varnish off of old furniture.  Took me two beers to put the flames out.  Surely this entry is just a joke of some kind to scare the judges.

Chili Entry #2:  Al’s Afterburner Chili

Rick:  Smoky, BBQ flavor with just a hint of pork.  Very slight jalapeno tang.

Calendar:  Intriguing BBQ flavor, but needs more pepper to be taken seriously as chili.

Wayne:  This crap needs a skull & crossbones on the label!  I’m not sure what I’m supposed to taste through the pain.  I had to disentangle myself from two Samaritans who were attempting to perform the Heimlich maneuver on me.  Pushed my way to the front of the beer line.  The barmaid resembles a professional wrestler after losing a 2 of 3 falls match.  She was so irritated by my gagging and whimpering that the snake tattoo around her eye began to twitch.

Chili Entry #3:  Walter’s Backwoods Barn Burner Chili

Rick:  Excellent firehouse chili!  Great kick, but needs more beans for proper balance.

Calendar:  A nearly beanless chili, a bit heavy on the salt, good use of red peppers.

Wayne:  This has got to be a freakin’ joke! Call the UN inspectors, I’ve found some of Sadaam’s !?@#*$%! Chemical weapons!  My nose feels like I’ve been sneezing Drano.

Chili Entry #4:  Bert’s Black Magic Chili

Rick:  Black bean chili with almost no spice.  A real let down for black bean lovers.

Calendar:  Hint of lime in the black beans.  Good side dish for fish or other bland foods, certainly not a standalone chili.

Wayne:  I remotely recall something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it.  Teesha was standing ready with fresh refills so that I wouldn’t have to dash over to see her.  She winked at me and her snake tattoo made sort of a striking movement…she’s much prettier than I originally thought.

Chili Entry #5:  Donna’s Dynamite Chili

Rick:  Bold and meaty chili.  Cayenne peppers freshly ground and used liberally.  Very impressive chili.

Calendar:  Feisty chili with shredded beef; could use more tomato.  Cayenne peppers present themselves strongly.  A good chili.

Wayne:  My ears are ringing and I can no longer focus my eyes.  I belched, and several people in front of me became ill.  Donna seemed hurt when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage.  Teesha saved my tongue by pouring beer directly on it from a pitcher.  Kind of embarrassed by Rick’s request that I stop screaming.

Chili Entry #6:  Varga’s Vegetarian Variety Chili

Rick:  Bold for vegetarian chili, perhaps a bit thin.  Good balance of peppers for just the right zest.

Calendar:  Simply the best yet.  Aggressive use of peppers, garlic and onions.  Superb.

Wayne:  My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous flames.  The promoters have set aside a porta-potty for my private use.  No one seems inclined to stand behind me except Teesha.  I asked her if she wanted to go out dancing later.

Chili Entry #7:  Stacey’s Screaming Sensation Chili

Rick:  A mediocre chili.  Cook obviously didn’t spend much time in preparation.  Heavy reliance on canned peppers.

Calendar:  Ho Hum Chili.  Tastes as if the cook simply threw in a can or two of peppers as an afterthought.  I should note that I am somewhat concerned about Wayne, who appears to be in a bit of distress.

Wayne:  Tried to take a dip of snuff, but couldn’t find my lips.  Teesha finally helped me.  I’ve completely lost sight in my right eye, and my surroundings seem to be made up of swirling water.  My clothes are covered with the chili that spilled unnoticed from my mouth at some point.  This will provide the coroner a good clue during the autopsy.  Teesha, run and save yourself!  Tell our children that I’m sorry I was not around to help conceive them.

            I’ve decided to stop breathing now.  It’s much too painful and I’m not getting any oxygen anyway.  If my body needs air, I’m sure it will just come through the hole in my stomach.

Chili Entry #8:  Howard’s Mt. Saint Helen Chili

Rick:  Perfect example of saving the best for last.  This final entry is perfectly balanced, neither mild nor hot.  Sorry to see that most of it was wasted when Wayne collapsed and pulled the chili pot on top of himself.

Calendar:  A perfect ending to this chili cook-off.  A very nice blend, not too bold, but spicy enough to declare its existence.

Wayne:  This is the point that everything becomes pretty foggy.  Dale tells me that I was most screaming for my mother, before lapsing into unconsciousness.

            Well now that you know this story, I think I have some more explainin’ to do.  Everyone around these parts was so supportive during my recent ‘fast,’ I just feel like I should come clean.  While I did technically ‘fast ‘ for  40 days, the fact is that the doctor advised that I give my body  a month or so of recuperation before trying to eat any solid food. 

            I also want to thank Dale again for everything he did for me.  If it wasn’t for him there certainly wouldn’t have been an article and I quite probably would not be Teesha’s new wrasslin’ manager.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           *  *  *  *  *



President: Al Price 661/867-2414 email

Vice President Larry Grafius 661/867-2579

Secretary Janet Kutzner 760/379-2636 email

Treasurer Jayne Price 661/867-2414 email

Directors Lana Grafius 661/867-2579

Mark Mutz 661/867-2808 email

Immediate Past President/Editor Janet Kutzner 760/379-2636 email


Annual membership is $25.00 per individual or family. Membership year is from January 1 to December 31.

The Courthouse Museum and Schoolhouse are open from April 1 through Sep. 30 on weekends from 11 am

until 3 pm, and by appointment. They are located at 6789 Caliente-Bodfish Road, Havilah, CA 93518.

Admission to the museum is FREE, but donations are cheerfully accepted, (and 100% tax-deductible!).

The monthly general meeting is at 3 pm the second Saturday of each month at the Havilah Schoolhouse.




6789 Caliente-Bodfish Road

Havilah, CA 93518