THE  Havilah  Herald Newsletter  —- March 2018






           Official Publication of the Havilah Centennial Group, Inc. 

  aka      The Havilah Historical Society and Museum

                                                                                         Havilah California – March 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.


*                      *                           *                           *
























                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    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.


                                                                                               The Prez Sez:

GENTLE REMINDER — (Tax Deductible) DUES ARE DUE ($25.00 for an individual or two Adult family members in the same household).

                                                                     WE APPRECIATE YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT – WE COULD NOT EXIST WITHOUT IT!

What have WE done (as a group) recently?

  • Applied for and got a current EIN (Employer Identification Number) for Havilah. (Even though we have no employees, it is a requirement for filing for 501 C 3 (tax-exempt) status)
  • Filed for and received 501 C 3 status for Havilah
  • Built our own Website
  • Re-stained (painted) the Havilah Court House
  • Re-stained (painted) the Havilah School House& Bell Tower
  • Tore out and replaced the 50-year-old, decaying/damaged walkway in front of the Court House
  • Replaced the railroad tie steps to the walkway
  • Added a handrail along the steps
  • Added a hitching post in front of the Court House
  • Repaired broken fencing on the south side of the Court House, along the hillside, by the picnic grounds
  • Worked with the Kern County Board of Supervisors (Mick Gleason) to replace the 1966 Havilah 100 year anniversary plaque
  • Worked with the Kern County Board of Supervisors (Mick Gleason) to have them come up to Havilah in April 2016 to help us celebrate Havilah’s 150th Anniversary of the founding of Kern County
  • Had special bronze pins made by a local artist to celebrate the 150th Anniversary
  • Reinforced the platform at the top of the stairs, on the north side of the Court House
  • Purchased and installed new fire extinguishers in both the Court House and School House
  • Purchased and installed new first aid kits in both the Court House and School House
  • Donated toys at Christmas to LOCAL CHILDREN in the Kern River Valley
  • Repaired the loose electrical plug inside the Court House
  • Replaced the broken light fixture above the stairs on the north side of the Court House
  • Paid to have the weeds abated on the hillside behind and around the Court House and School House
  • Had Havilah brochures/handouts made to tell folks about Havilah
  • Distributed the Havilah brochures to roughly 25 other Historical Societies in the area and around California to encourage more visitors
  • Repaired, replanted the Bella Union Hotel sign/marker that had fallen into disrepair across the street and slightly south of the Havilah School House
  • Created a handout for the Newt Walker/Burton/Bagsby shootout that happened just down the street in front of Mrs. Miller’s store, to hand out at the Court House Museum


                                                                                                                           Havilah Historical Society

                                                                                                                        C/O 20325 Redstone Avenue

                                                                                                                           Caliente, CA  93518-3103

Mailing it to the above address will get it to us a few days quicker than mailing it to the Havilah Court House, whose mail is re-directed to this same address anyway.

On another very important subject — We need to cut back on some of our expenses, and one of the largest is the mailing of hard copies of the monthly newsletter.  If you receive a hard copy of the newsletter, but have an e-mail address that we could use instead, please make sure that our newsletter editor, Janet Kutzner, has that e-mail address.  We are spending in excess of $300/year just on stamps and ink!


Thank you in advance.

Alan L. (Al) Price, President

                                                    *                                  *                                  *                                  *                                  *                               *

The following article was published in The Fence Post Country Reader, January 1998.  It was written by Tom Ratican, who was President of the Havilah Historical Society for nine years.  He passed away in October 2010:

                                                                            Ol’ Bill Blue

In the early 60’s I started a project that I thought would be rather interesting historically.  My wife, Naomi, and I went around to various old mining towns filming and getting the history on the jails that were still standing.  We visited places like Bodie, Columbia, Randsburg, Hornitos and a few others.


While in Randsburg I stopped in at the local bar – I guess in a town like Randsburg it is called a saloon – and asked the barkeep if he knew anything about the jail in town.  He said that he didn’t, but if I would come back in an hour or so I could  meet Bill Blue having his daily beer, and if I would buy him a couple of brews he would tell me all about the town and the jail.


So Naomi and I poked around town for awhile then went back to the bar – excuse me – saloon and, sure enough, there was Ol’ Bill Blue having his daily beer.  Of course I didn’t know him so the barkeep introduced us and I bought us each a beer.  As he talked he took me back to the past – not about the town he lived in, but about himself.  He was 82 years of age when I met him. 


Ol’ Blue settled in Randsburg when he was 36 years old and I never did find out where he came from, but that’s OK.  He was a man of many occupations.  He worked in the Yellow Aster mine as a “Mule” Driver.  A “Mule” was a little locomotive that took car loads of ore from the mine.  It now sits in front of the museum in Randsburg.  From that he advanced to Powder Monkey.  That was the guy who set the dynamite in the mine.  Later he got a job as a Wells Fargo Agent and guarded the ore being shipped off to the Assayer. 


One thing Ol’ Bill was rather proud of was the time he helped capture some “bad guys” who tried to hijack an ore shipment.  He then accompanied them to San Francisco to be bound over for trial.  He showed me his gun holster and belt. Unfortunately, someone had stolen his six-gun from his home some years before.


When the movie companies came to Randsburg in the middle of the 1920’s, Ol’ Bill worked as an extra or wrangler because he knew horses.  The man could and would do just about anything as long as he got paid!  Eventually he wound up on Social Security and never left Randsburg.  Why should he?  That was his home.  He lived in a little two room shack in the area that used to be the Red Light district of Randsburg.


Ol’ Bill is gone now, but I will never forget him.  He was, no, he is a part of American History.  Every time I go through Randsburg I feel Ol’ Bill’s presence there.  I only knew him for two days, but in that time I made a good friend.  I think about him often, and I miss him. 

*             *                 *                 *                 *                 *                 *                 *


By Richard C. Bailey, Director Kern County Museum

“In the Days of ’49”

Published by the Kern County Museum, Bakersfield, CA 1966 (Part 13)


1957    South High School began.

1957    Kern County Cotton Wives organized.

1957    Dedication of U.S. Borax and Chemical Corp. open pit borax mine and refinery, Boron.

1957    First “Whiskey Flat Days” celebration, Kernville.

1957    The News began publication, Bakersfield.

1957    Pacific Airlines started service in Kern County.

1957    Kern Valley News established.

1958    Kern County Air Terminal building dedicated (Meadows Field), Bakersfield.

1958    Kern Valley News became Kern Valley Sun, Lake Isabella.

1958    California City founded.

1958    Radio Station KLYD, Bakersfield, began broadcasts.

1958    Burton Tropico Mine Museum established.

1958    National Track and Field Championship (AAU) Bakersfield.

1958    Radio Station KIKK, Bakersfield, began broadcasts.

1959    TV Station, Channel 17, Bakersfield, began broadcasts.

1959    Bakersfield College football team won 14th annual Junior Rose bowl game at Pasadena.

1959    California Crossroads, monthly magazine, began publication, Bakersfield.

1959    The Outlook began publication.

1959    The Messenger newspaper began publication, Bakersfield.

1959    Lake Woollomes near Delano, dedicated.

(To be continued next month)      


                                                                                                           *                     *                           *                           *

From the Havilah Weekly Courier:  Grammatical errors, spelling, seemingly meaningless statements, etc. were left as originally published (submitted by Al Price):



                                                                                                                                          White & Williams,

                                                                                                                            (Successors to Sanderson & Asher)


                                                                                                                                         BILLIARD SALOON

                                                                                                                                     MAIN STREET, HAVILAH.


                                                                                                                                 TWO GOOD TABLES IN THIS

                                                                                                                      Saloon, where those who wish, “can while

                                                                                                                                away an hour very pleasantly.”

                                                                                                                    The BAR in this Saloon contains the choicest

                                                                                                                         brands of Liquors, Wines and Cigars.


                                                                                                                 Polite attendants always ready to answer a call.

                                                                                                                          Drop in and see us as you pass along.



                                                                                                                                       HAVILAH BREWERY

                                                                                                                             MAIN STREET ………. HAVILAH


  1.                                                                                                                       Dockweiler, Proprietor.


                                                                                                             Keep constantly on hand a complete supply of

                                                                                                                  WINES, LIQUORS, and the best HAVANA



                                                                                                                                           Lager Beer


                                                                                                            Of the best quality always on hand to supply

                                                                                                                               Saloons and the Hotels.



                                                                                                                                        Oyster Saloon


                                                                                                                                        CHOP  HOUSE


                                                                                                                              MAIN STREET  HAVILAH

                                                                                                                            C.P. ELLIOTT, PROPRIETOR,

                                                                                                                would inform his friends and the public

                                                                                                     generally that he has opened the old Chop House

                                                                                                          adjoining Asher’s Saloon where Oysters and

                                                                                                        meals can be had, the best the market affords

                                                                                                                                      from 5 A M.  



From the very first copy of the Weekly Courier (not yet the Havilah Courier or the Havilah Weekly Courier):

(Note that grammatical errors, spelling, seemingly meaningless statements, etc. were left EXACTLY AS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED! —– Al Price, Havilah Historical Society.)

                                                                                                                                  Weekly Courier

                                                                                               Volume 1      Saturday, August 18, 1866      Number 1


                                                      STARTING A COUNTRY NEWSPAPER

            —- The task of starting a newspaper in an interior town, under the most favorable circumstances, is no pleasant or light one, and the reader may form some idea of our task after having read this article. On the 18th day of July we loaded our printing materials upon a wagon drawn by four horses and started from San Jose to Havilah, a distance of about 300 miles, over a road we knew but little about other than it passed through the great, hot desert of San Joaquin, and over the roughest mountain road in the State of California or on the American continent.  Arriving in Gilroy, only 30 miles from San Jose, we found we had load enough for another four-horse team, and “struck out” to hunt one up in and about Gilroy.  We spent one day in our search but found everybody and their teams engaged in harvesting and could not get one. We camped under the wagon and sent our teamster back to San Jose to get another team.  We camped several days by the side of our “things,” waiting, watching, and wondering why a team didn’t come. It was our first venture from home and civilization.  Solitary and alone at night we lay beneath the broad canopy of the heavens, wrapped in our blankets and disturbed slumbers, for, ever and alone, we would awake from “those pleasant dozes,” to find ourself safe in our blankets, and the only moving body in sight our faithful horse.  Our extra team arrived at last; and on the 25th we started for “our home in the mountains”, where we arrived on the 5th last, having been out from San Jose for seventeen days.  We have not the space here to give the reader but a minute sketch of our adventures, but, nor would we, had we the time.  We thoroughly learned California camp life. When we arrived in Havilah we succeeded in finding, after “going through the whole length of the place,” the one gentleman we knew.  We informed him of our arrival, at which he expressed some little surprise, but we finally made him realize the fact, he guided us to the place where we were to set up shop.  He had secured a good floor, and we placed our “printing machine” upon it.  Then the next morning we put a carpenter at work and have now a “first-rate office.”  We are now at one of the nicest, quietest, and newest mining towns in the State, our first issue of the COURIER is before the public, and ready to meet our friends and to do business.

                                                                           *                           *                           *                           *                           *                         *

                                                                                                                         Did You Know?      DIXIE LAND

For a time they issued a ten-dollar note down there in New Orleans that had a ten on one side and a dix–French for ten–on the other.  Folks began calling them dixies, and the word somehow got to mean the place they were used–Dixie-Land. 

                                                                                                                                            *  *  *  * *

                                                 LIKE IT ? HATE IT? LET US KNOW – WE CAN’T FIX IT IF WE DON’T KNOW IT’S BROKE!


                                                                                                    HAVILAH HISTORICAL SOCIETY OFFICERS & DIRECTORS:


President:                             Al Price                                       661/867-2414         email

Vice President                  Larry Grafius                                 661/867-2579

Secretary                          Janet Kutzner                                760/379-2636         email

Treasurer                   Jayne Hotchkiss 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