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
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.
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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 www.havilahmuseum.org
- 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
NONE OF THIS COULD HAVE BEEN ACCOMPLISHED WITHOUT THE CONTINUED SUPPORT OF PEOPLE LIKE YOU! PLEASE CONSIDER MAILING IN YOUR TAX-DEDUCTIBLE $25.00 MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL TODAY. YOU CAN EVEN GO TO OUR WEBSITE www.havilahmuseum.org AND PAY WITH PAYPAL, OR MAKE YOUR CHECK OUT TO:
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
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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.
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HISTORIC CHRONOLOGY OF SIGNIFICANT DATES OF KERN COUNTY
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)
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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)
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.
MAIN STREET ………. HAVILAH
- Dockweiler, Proprietor.
Keep constantly on hand a complete supply of
WINES, LIQUORS, and the best HAVANA
Of the best quality always on hand to supply
Saloons and the Hotels.
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.)
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.
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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.
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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 havilahmuseum.org
Vice President Larry Grafius 661/867-2579
Secretary Janet Kutzner 760/379-2636 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer Jayne Hotchkiss Price 661/867-2414 email havilahmuseum.org
Directors Lana Grafius 661/867-2579
Mark Mutz 661/867-2808 email email@example.com
Immediate Past President/Editor Janet Kutzner 760/379-2636 email firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
HAVILAH HISTORICAL SOCIETY & MUSEUM
6789 Caliente-Bodfish Road
Havilah, CA 93518