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The Kern Valley Museum, Kernville

#3 of 9 in Things to do in Kernville
History Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
The Kern Valley Museum houses artifacts from prehistoric times to the present. We have a large geological and fossil exhibit, mining and ranching artifacts, an interactive history of the Edison hydroelectric plants, exhibits of the movie-making history of the area and construction of the Isabella Dam.

There are thousands of photographs of the early settlers, miners, cowboys and Indians.

Our wonderful back porch and yard are home for a 1925 Graham Truck, covered wagon and the Stagecoach John Wayne rode while filming scenes of “Stagecoach” in our Valley.

We also have a giant stamp mill used to render gold-bearing ore to powder, a working assay office, blacksmith shop and a restored and furnished 100 year old cabin.

In the 1850’s, Gold Fever gripped the nation. The Kern River Valley was part of the gold rush that spurred the westward migration of fortune seekers who became ranchers, farmers and merchants when the gold played out.

Our nonprofit museum is manned by volunteer docents and is supported by memberships, donations and fundraisers. Come and discover the treasures it holds!
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The Kern Valley Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
72 reviews
  • Enthusiastic, knowledgeable, local docents. Well-displayed items. Lots of variety, but not too large to encompass in a single visit. Free admission, with donations appreciated. The small room devoted....  more »
  • Great summary of the area with very pleasant volunteers to answer questions. Lots of interesting artifacts of mining and history of area  more »
  • Love seeing all the old relics as well as getting to know the history of the town. Highly recommend if you want to kill an hour. Take the family, it's free although donations are excepted. Nice staff, friendly😁
  • Excellent collection of Kern Valley history. Docents very friendly and informative. Owner/Curator is a longtime southern Sierra resident and adds a lot of local knowledge about the collection items.

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