“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Taft in Kern County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

West Kern Oil Museum

West Kern Oil Museum Marker image. Click for full size.
By Alan Price
1. West Kern Oil Museum Marker
Inscription. The Jameson # 17 oil derrick, which was drilled in 1917 and produced until the 1980ís, was scheduled to be torn down. In 1974 the local American Association of University Women and several dedicated people convinced Jameson Oil Company to donate the wooden derrick along with three acres of land to give the West Kern Oil Museum, Inc. a promising start. The Jameson # 17 was the last standing wooden derrick in California, outlasting more than 7000 wooden derricks that covered the Midway-Sunset Field. Due to safety issues the derrick finally had to be torn down in 2003. However, the museum had the original plans, and in 2005 raised an exact replica of the derrick. Today, the replica stands over the original well, and is a part of the museum, which has grown to 8 acres.

The story of the oil companies, of everyday life in early oilfields and camps, as well as the story of oil itself are exhibited and interpreted within the museum.

The museum, run entirely by volunteers, is dedicated to collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting artifacts, books, and equipment that tell the story of oil in California, particularly in West Kern County.
Erected 2015 by Peter Lebec Chapter 1866, E Clampus Vitus.
Marker series.
West Kern Oil Museum Marker image. Click for full size.
By Alan Price
2. West Kern Oil Museum Marker
This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus marker series.
Location. 35° 7.993′ N, 119° 26.894′ W. Marker is in Taft, California, in Kern County. Marker can be reached from Wood Street, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is located on the grounds of the West Kern Oil Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1168 Wood Street, Taft CA 93268, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within 16 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. History of Taft (approx. 0.8 miles away); Midway Cemetery - 25 Hill (approx. 0.9 miles away); The Fort, Taft (approx. 1.5 miles away); a different marker also named The Fort (approx. 1.5 miles away); Lakeview Gusher No.1 (approx. 3.9 miles away); Maricopa's Jail (approx. 5.5 miles away); McKittrick Brea Pit (approx. 15.1 miles away).
Also see . . .  Information and History of the West Kern County Oil Museum. (Submitted on September 13, 2015.)
Categories. Natural Resources
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Alan Price or Jayne Hotchkiss-Price of Caliente, California. This page has been viewed 127 times since then and 70 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Alan Price or Jayne Hotchkiss-Price of Caliente, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photo of the oil derrick replica. • Historic photo of the original oil derrick. • Can you help?
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