The Kern County Museum is a history museum located in Bakersfield, California. Its main focus is the history of Kern County (including Bakersfield). One of the prominent features is Pioneer Village. Located on 16acre, it contains over 50 original buildings from around the county, related to life in the late 19th century. Other features include: Lori Brock Children’s Discovery Center, Black Gold exhibit, and main building. The museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.Make Kern County Museum part of your personalized Bakersfield itinerary using our Bakersfield road trip planner.
One of the most recognizable structures at the museum is the Beale Memorial Clock Tower, located on the lawn in front of it. The clock tower was originally constructed in 1904 in the center of the intersection of 17th St. and Chester Ave. It was destroyed in the 1952 earthquake and rebuilt at this site in 1964.
The origins of the museum dates back to 1929. A letter was published in the local newspaper from the local Lions Club asking for historical documents, photos, and information related to Kern County’s past. It was requested that the information be donated to the Kern County Chamber of Commerce. The result was very positive. Thousands of pieces of information were sent.
In 1941, by a decree from the county, the Kern County Museum was founded. However, the outbreak of World War II would delay its opening until 1945. It was placed in a small corner of the Kern County Chamber of Commerce Building located on Chester Ave, next to the fairgrounds between the Kern River and Garces Circle. The popularity of the exhibit quickly grew, as well as the amount of space needed to showcase it. By 1952, the museum had grown large enough that the Chamber of Commerce decided to move to a different location. This allowed for the entire structure to be used by the museum.
Kern County Museum Reviews
The museum just gets better and better. Make the trip. New areas and displays are excellent. And look great. more »
The Kern County Museum is a "Gold Mine" it is full of history with the lots of the original artifacts right there for you to enjoy. While visiting, you may recognize a set or backdrop from a movie. Th... more »
If you haven't been out to the museum in awhile, now is the time - the gift shop has been remodeled and Lori Wear has a new building to safely house thousands of important documents vital to preserving our local history. The outbuildings are adorable, worth your time for sure.
What a find, we love history and the museum and grounds have an excellent overview of the history of Bakersfield and surrounding environs. The 16 acres has over 40 buildings that served various purposes such as homes, businesses, a church and a school to name a few. Each one has a placard that gives the background and where it originally stood. We especially liked seeing the childhood home of Merle Haggard. Train buffs will enjoy the exhibits and train cars/engines, enjoy!!
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