Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Airplane Built by Earl and Helm Schmidt

6-S Ranch, Saugus (Pre-Canyon Country)

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Shades of things to come: If Saugus had an Orville and Wilbur Wright, they were Earl and Helm Schmidt. The brothers built this airplane in 1928 at the ranch their parents started a decade earlier in the heart of today's Canyon Country, north of Soledad Canyon Road between Camp Plenty Road and the current Whites Canyon Road.

After World War II, the brothers expanded the ranch to the east and paved an airstrip. The 6-S Ranch Airpark was used by aviators until 1956 when the family sold the property (and occasionally afterward). In the 1960s the area was developed into the North Oaks subdivision.

The "6-S" name represented the six Schmidts: parents Helm Sr. and Anna ("Josie") and siblings Homer, Helma, Earl and Helm Jr.

Earl later moved to Castaic and managed the hog farm at the Wayside Honor Rancho (now Peter J. Pitchess Detention Center). He served on the Hart High School Board (1962-1969) and the Castaic Lake Water Agency Board (1962-1979, his death). A local water treatment plant is named for him.

Helm Jr. moved to Newhall and went to work for the California Highway Patrol.


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SK2801: 9600 dpi jpeg from original 2½x3½-inch print courtesy of Cassandra Skaggs (Earl Schmidt's granddaughter), 2019. Online only.
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