site: 560 E. Main St.
Santa Paula Travel Co. Bldg..

completed: 2007






click any area of mural for detail

Honoring Founders and Pilots of Santa Paula Airport, 1890s-1940s
The sepia-toned panel shows Ralph Dickenson's 1929 SM-2AC Stinson Detroiter in which he flew down the airport runway in August, 1930, officially opening the airport. Standing is Ralph Dickenson founder, and the driving force behind the present airport’s development. To the right is Bill Hackbarth's restored 1918 De Havilland DH-4 which flew mail from Rock Springs, Wyoming to Salt Lake City, Utah until it crashed in 1922. Bill brought the remains to Santa Paula in 1965 to restore it. In 1967 he flew the plane across the United States and donated it to the Smithsonian Institution.



Wendell Dowling, muralist

Muralist Wendell Dowling, a local artist, has a passion for detailed illustrations, and a passion for airplanes. A hangar at Santa Paula Airport is home for his artist's studio, perched up above family owned planes below. He was chosen for this mural due to his close association with the airport and a member of a famous family of pilots. Wendell worked closely with the airport community in determining the individuals and planes to be included in the mural.

His father-in-law, Sammy Mason, was a famous test pilot for Lockheed Corporation and a legend among flying enthusiasts in Santa Paula and beyond. The artist paid tribute to Sammy Mason by including in the mural a tiny helicopter flying upside down which was thought to be impossible. Mason thought it not only possible, he demonstrated that it could be done!







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Santa Paula Murals Project, Copyright 2004
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Tel: 805.525.2824 

All photographs used in this website taken by Larry Holt, copyright 2004
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