The name "Canyon Country" did not yet exist locally in 1946 when brothers Earl and Helm Schmidt established the 6-S Ranch Airpark on a ranch their parents established in 1918 north of Soledad Canyon Road, between Camp Plenty and Whites Canyon. (They acquired additional land east of Whites when they created the airstrip.) In the 1960s the property became the nucleus of the North Oaks subdivision, the Santa Clarita Valley's first truly large, master-planned real estate development project (2,000 homes).
Mother Schmidt clung tenaciously to farming — alfalfa, melons, onions, potatoes and thoroughbred cattle, but her elder son, Earl, had other ideas for their 200 acres of fertile farm land.
To begin at the beginning — Earl and his brother, Helm, live on a ranch, near Saugus, California, with their widowed mother. While still in high school the boys were aviation enthusiasts — spent many happy hours building a plane which unfortunately is still in the old barn, unfinished. Enterprising Earl finally took time off from farming to learn to fly with the ambitious thought of converting their ranch into an airport.
It was hard-sledding and took a long time to convince his mother that it was the right thing to do, but she was finally persuaded. Now that the long-hoped-for airpark is actually in operation, Mrs. Schmidt, who is 72, is one of its most enthusiastic boosters and gives the boys her wholehearted support.
At present they have a 2,750-foot runway, 400 feet wide, with a 50-foot oiled strip in the center. Seventeen planes are permanently located on the field. Future plans include a large hangar, steak house, barbecue grounds, swimming pool, overnight accommodations for fliers and lighted runways for night flying.
Schmidt Brothers is the oldest Shell account served out of the San Fernando Sub-Depot. They began buying Shell products for their farm machinery when the company first entered the area. More than satisfied with the products and service, they just naturally wanted the same aviation petroleum products for their 6-S Ranch Airpark.
SK4701: pdf of original magazine pages; full magazine donated by Cassandra Skaggs. Download individual pages here.