Historical Markers in
Kern County, California

1915 Street Dance Mural 20-Mule Team Trail Adobe Church Adobe House Air Force Flight Test Center Alphonse Weill Residence Arlington House Arrastra at Railroad Park Arvin-Sierra Glider Port Arvins Veterans Assay Office August Weferling House Avelino Martinez B.M. Denison House & 1880's House Bakersfield Californian Bakersfield National Cemetery Bandstand Bank of Bakersfield Barnes Log Cabin Beale Memorial Clock Tower Bealville Beekay Theatre Bell XP-59A Jet Aircraft Bena Depot Blacksmith Shop Bob Powers Borax Brock's Department Store Buena Vista Refinery Bungalow Buttonwillow Tree Cable Tool Drilling Rig Caliente Camel Brigade Camel Trail Terminus Campsite of Edward Kern Captain Elisha Stephens Cement Production in Tehachapi Cesar E. Chavez National Monument Colonel Thomas Baker Convair CV-990 Cook Wagon Coso Rock Art District Court House and Jail Crites Building CT-39A - "Sabreliner" D.T. Jones - Dry Goods Dedicated to Little Lucy and the Lightners Dentist's Office Desert Spring Discovery Well Doctor's Office Don José Jesús (J. J.) Lopez Don Pedro Fages Drug Store Dust Bowl Housing Units Duty~Honor~Country Early Explorers in the Tehachapi Area Early High School Early Settlements in The Tehachapi Area Early Settlers El Camino Viejo Errea House Eternal Flame Ethel's Old Corral F-101B • “Voodoo” F-104A • “Starfighter” F-105D • “Thunderchief” F-106B • “Delta Dart” F-111A "Aardvark" F-16B F-4 Phantom II F-8 DFBW F-8 Digital Fly-By-Wire Aircraft F-8 Supercritical Wing Aircraft F-84F - "Thunderstreak" F-86F F.W. Woolworth Company Store Fages-Zalvidea Trails Fairhaven Pump House First Baptist Church First Catholic Church and Cemetery in Kern County First Flight to Break the Sound Barrier First Methodist & Episcopal Church First Presbyterian Church First Roads and Highway 58 Florence "Pancho" Barnes Former Post Office Former Richfield Service Station Fort Tejon Francisco Garces Francisco Garces O.F.M Fraternal Hall Freeman Junction Gallinger House Garcés Baptismal Site Garlock Gazebo General Store Glennville Adobe Golden Queen Mine Cart Gordons Ferry Granite Station Haberfelde Building Haggard House Havilah Havilah Courier Hay Building Hayden Building HiMAT Historic Havilah History of Taft Hitching Post Theatre HL-10 Lifting Body Home of Elisha Stevens Hospital Hotel Fellows Howell House Importance of Water and Creation of Brite Lake Indian Wells Interstate Highway 5 Jackie Cochran Jewett Family Joseph Weringer, Sr. Josephine Stephens Bishop Joss House Kelly Silver Mine Kern City French Bakery Kern County Begins Kern County Chamber of Commerce Kern County Courthouse Kern County Fair Exhibit Building Kern County Hall of Records Kern County Hospital Kern County Korean War Memorial Kern County Land Company Building Kern County Veterans Kern County Vietnam War Memorial Kern River Flour Mills Kern River Slough Kern Valley Bank Kernville Kernville Veterans Memorial Keyesville Korean and Vietnam Veterans Memorial Kress Building Lόpez-Hill House Lakeview Gusher No.1 Last Home of Alexis Godey Lavers Crossing Leaps in Technology Lieutenant Edward Fitzgerald Beale Livermore and Chester Store Lockheed F-104 Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird Lynn’s Bull Road Major Michael Adams, USAF Maricopa's Jail McFarland House & Late 1880s House McKittrick Brea Pit McKittrick Hotel and Penny Bar Metcalf House Midway Cemetery - 25 Hill Midway Field - Well No. 2-6 Miller and Lux Survey Office Mining, Gold, Salt and Limestone Mk IV Special Weapon Mojave 20-Mule Team Borax Terminus Mojave Air & Spaceport Monolith Mountain House N.F.-11 (T.T.-20) - “Meteor” Naval Ordnance Test Station, China Lake NF-15B NF-4C "Phantom II" Norris School Nüwa - Kawaiisu People Oak Creek Pass Odd Fellows Hall Oildale Mural Oildale Waits Drilling Company Old Isabella "Old Town" Onyx Store - 1880 Original site of the First Catholic Church in 1887 Pablo Galtes - Union Cemetery Padre Hotel Peery House People of the Mountains Peter Lebec Peter Lebeck PGM-17A • "Thor" Photographer’s Studio Pinkney House Piper PA-48 “Enforcer” Piute Ranch Homesite of Elizabeth "Lizzie" McGuirk Point On The Jedediah Smith Trail Posey Station of Butterfield Overland Mail Lines Railroad Scale House and Telephone Booth Ranching, Farming and Orchards Rand District Community Cemetery Rand Mining District Randsburg Drug Store Randsburg, California Rankin Ranch Real Estate Development Since The 1960s Red Front Blacksmith Shop Mural Red Mountain Rio de San Felipe Roads End Rocket Engine NF-104A Rocket Site Rose Station Rotary Rocket Roton ATV SAAB TF-35XD Draken Saint John's Episcopal Mission Santa Fe Caboose #1323 Sebastian Indian Reservation Shafter Cotton Research Station Shafter Depot Sheepherder's Cabin "Siding 16" Silver City Ghost Town Silver Dollar Saloon Sinks of the Tejon Site of Baker's Field Site of Bank of Tehachapi Site of Gossamer Condor Flight Site of the Kessing Building Sonora Service Station Sound Barrier Cracked Southern Hotel Southern Pacific Engine #2914 Southern Pacific Railroad Jail Stage Robbery! Standard End Pumping Unit Standard Oil Company Building Standard School T-28B "Trojan" T-33A “Shooting Star” T-Hacha-P Brand Mural Tehachapi Airport and Gliderport Tehachapi Depot Tehachapi Hospital Tehachapi Loop Tehachapi Loop Mural Tehachapi Museum Tehachapi Pass Tehachapi Pass Railroad Line Tehachapi’s Founding Fathers And Incorporation in 1909 TF-102A • “Delta Dagger” The Baltic Mine The Barn The Camels of Fort Tejon The Commerical Hotel The Cross at the Loop The Fort The Fort, Taft The Forty Acres The Fox Theater The Great Flood of 1932 and Engine No. 3834 The Green Hotel The Joint The Kawaiisu The Kelly Silver Mine The King Solomon Mine The Legend of Avelino Martinez The Medal of Honor The Muro House The Owl Hotel The Railroad and the Tehachapi Loop The Randsburg - Mojave Road The Tehachapi Museum The Women's Prison in Tehachapi - 1932 Tomo-Kahni Tulamniu Indian Site Tule Elk State Reserve Twenty Mule Team Two 1890's Houses UC-45J - "Expeditor" Undertaker's Office United States Marine Corps Air Station United States Post Office USS Arizona Vest Drug Store and Market Voyager Aircraft / SpaceShipOne Replica Walker Basin Walker Basin Walker's Pass We Shall Never Forget Weill House Weill's Department Store Weller House Wells, Fargo & Company Express Office West Kern Oil Museum What a Shock! The 1952 Earthquake Whitehouse Saloon Why Tehachapi Pass? / Pioneers of the Wind / Hike A Mile or Two - Thousand William Henry "Burro" Schmidt Willow Springs Willow Springs Wind Energy Industry Woody X-29 YA-10B Prototype number 73-1664 YA-7D "Corsair II" YC-15 Yellow Aster Gold Mine YF-100A “Super Sabre”
The San Francisco cable car system is the world's last manually operated cable car system. The system was built in 1873 and is a National Historic Landmark. The cable cars are a popular tourist attraction and are featured in many movies and TV shows.
Kern County, located in California's Central Valley, has a rich and diverse history. It was originally home to several Native American tribes, including the Yokuts and Kitanemuk people, who lived off the land for thousands of years.

The region was first explored by Spanish missionaries in the 18th century. In 1772, Father Francisco Garcés established a mission in the area, which brought the Catholic faith and European culture to the indigenous people. The Spanish presence expanded with the establishment of the El Camino Viejo trade route, also known as the Old Spanish Trail, which connected the missions of Alta California to New Mexico.

During the mid-19th century, Kern County experienced significant growth and development. The discovery of gold in the Kern River in 1851 attracted thousands of prospectors, leading to the establishment of the town of Havilah as the county seat. However, the gold rush soon subsided, and the county turned to agriculture as the dominant industry. The completion of the Southern Pacific Railroad in the 1870s further facilitated the transportation of crops, fueling the county's agricultural boom.

In the early 20th century, oil was discovered in Kern County, changing its landscape once again. The Kern River Field, discovered in 1899, became the first major oil field in California. This led to an oil boom that transformed Kern County into one of the largest oil-producing regions in the state. The economy flourished, attracting people from all over the country and bringing new wealth to the area.

Today, Kern County is known for its thriving agriculture and oil industries, as well as its natural beauty. The region is home to stunning landscapes, including the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the world-famous Sequoia National Forest. Kern County also boasts vibrant communities and a diverse population, which continues to shape its history and contribute to its ongoing development.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Kern County, California.

  • 1772 - Spanish explorer Pedro Fages explores the area
  • 1806 - Spanish missionaries establish a mission near the present-day site of Bakersfield
  • 1826 - Jedediah Smith becomes the first American to explore the region
  • 1851 - Gold is discovered in the Kern River
  • 1854 - Kern County is established as one of the original 27 counties in California
  • 1865 - Construction of the Southern Pacific Railroad begins in Kern County
  • 1899 - The first oil well is successfully drilled in Kern County, leading to the development of the local oil industry
  • 1913 - The city of Bakersfield is incorporated
  • 1952 - Completion of the Isabella Dam on the Kern River
  • 1977 - The Kern County Museum is founded