Local Family Histories
'Working to preserve the rich heritage of the Temecula Valley'
Charles Robert 'Bert' Fernald
by Loren Fernald
   Charles Robert Fernald (Bert) was born in Temecula California, in the County of Riverside, on 13 June 1904. He was the 4th surviving child of Frank Loren Fernald and Catherine Beatrice (Trixie) Fernald (Van Nest)

    Where did the name Bert come from? He said that when his mother would get angry at him that the name "Robert" got shortened to Bert. It was quicker that way he would say with a little smile.

    He spent his early years in Temecula and while in grade school played on the boys school basketball team. The team thought they where pretty good until they had a game with the local Indian reservation girls team which really gave them sound beating. So much for basketball. He quit school when he was about 15 years old and went to work at various > jobs, he worked in a dairy loading the large milk cans on trucks and later worked in what he called a blacksmith shop where they cut truck frames apart so thay could be extended.

    Bert was always exposed to auto repair as his dad and older brothers Neal and Loren worked in F. L. Fernalds auto repair shop in Temecula. I don't know if he worked with them or not, at least he never said so. I suspect he may have. He later worked in downtown Los Angeles at Thompson Brothers Nash dealer from 1924 to 1938.

    Bert was married to Elizabeth Wren Mack (Mickie) on 09 July 1925. They moved to their own home at 618 W. Magnolia in Inglewood, California just after their wedding and never moved again.

    Bert and Elizabeth had one child Harry Loren Fernald born February 24,1931 Loren married Leah Rae Gilhousen January 28, 1951. Loren & Leah have 2 children Eric Paul & Melissa Rae.

    Bert went to work in Inglewood at E. A. Seimers Nash agency starting in 1938 and became foreman of the repair shop. He had a falling out with the owner about 1943 or 44 and his boss would not let him leave. Auto repair was vital to the war effort, he was frozen on that job. The only way out was to open his own auto repair shop. He opened Berts Auto Service on Tamarack Street, directly across the street from his former boss. Five years later he bought property at 167 W. Arbor Vitae Street in Inglewood and built his own shop. He operated that shop until 1969 when he retired. His son H. Loren Fernald (3rd generation mechanic) took over and operated the business until 1985.

    Bert enjoyed many things in life. He and Elizabeth traveled some, owned a cabin in Big Bear, CA, loved to camp and had a house trailer that got a lot of use. In fact Bert built his first house trailer from plans in Mechanics Illustrated magazine. He said it made quite a hit the first trip out, as you could not buy a ready made house trailer at that time.

    Bert had many interests.Fishing, photography, woodworking and model building were just a few. At one time he developed he own film, made prints and enlargments.Woodworking and building radio controlled model airplanes were his favorite hobbies. He had a woodworking shop in the back yard made various items for family and friends, some still in use even today. He belonged to the local airplane model club and flew his airplanes off the cliffs at Redondo Beach or anywhere else he could find a place open.

    Bert loved the holidays especially Christmas and Thanksgiving. There were certain family traditions and he held on to those very tight. Before Christmas we would go on what was called a " mistletoe shoot"! We along with some other family members like Neal and on occasion, Vee & Rusty would go to Temescal Canyon, on a side road, and gather mistletoe, shoot tin cans on the side of the hill with our 22 caliber rifles and have a picnic lunch. It was always a lot of fun. Early Christmas morning we would go to Vee and Rustys for opening of gifts and non-stop eatting. Thanksgiving Day was at Bert & Mickie's home and the family came for turkey dinner. Dessert was pie and a slide picture show of the past years events. He always had a great time with his family.

    Bert as a adult was about 5 foot 7inches tall, medium build, brown hair and blue eyes. He had a good sense of humor and was a very loyal person to friends & family.

    Bert was very proud to be a Free Mason as his grandfather (C.N. Fernald) & father F.L. Fernald were also Masons in Camden Maine. C.N. Fernald belonged to, Amity Lodge #6 year 1870

    Bert passed away 30 October 1982 in Inglewood, California at the age of 78.