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Lebec is an unincorporated area and census-designated place in southwestern Kern County, California.GeographyIt is one of the Mountain Communities of the Tejon Pass, in the northeastern San Emigdio Mountains. Lebec is 40mi south of Bakersfield.According to the United States Census Bureau, Lebec has an area of 15.3sqmi. The community, which is near Tejon Pass, lies at an elevation of 3,481 feet (1,061 m).Interstate 5 is the only highway passing through the community. Local traffic drives on Lebec Road, Peace Valley Road, Frazier Mountain Park Road and adjoining streets.HistoryLebec is named in honor of Peter Lebeck or Lebecque, a French trapper killed by a grizzly bear in 1837 in the area that later became Fort Tejon. He was memorialized in an epitaph at the site, found carved in a bare spot on an old oak tree. The epitaph read PETER LEBECK / KILLED BY A X BEAR / OCTR 17 / 1837. The bark of the oak tree eventually grew over the carving. A group from Bakersfield called the Foxtail Rangers removed the bark in the late 19th century and found the inscription in reverse on its underside. The piece is now displayed in the museum at Fort Tejon State Historic Park. Lieutenant R.S. Williamson camped at the same oak grove in 1853 while on a mid-1850s mapping mission for a practicable railway route from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. Geologist William P. Blake accompanied Williamson's party. The area was garrisoned by the United States Army a year later, on August 10, 1854, as Fort Tejon, the first military fort in the California interior. The fort suffered extensive damage during the 1857 Fort Tejon earthquake.Use our United States driving holiday planning site to plan your trip to Lebec and other destinations in United States.
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