Early Explorers in the Tehachapi Area
In 1826, mountain man Jedediah Strong Smith was the first American to come through the area. In April of 1844, explorer John Charles Fremont, along with Alexis Godey, Kit Carson and Edward Kern came through. In 1853 Lt. Robert Williamson came to the area looking for the best railroad route to the Pacific.
He asked the Indians what they called the creek and he recorded it was TAH-EE-CHAY-PAH, which he understood from the spoken Indian word Tehecita, which they called on of their villages as well as the nearby lake and the creek.
William Brewer, who worked with the California survey team between 1860 and 1864, said in his journal, “We crossed the ridge to Tehachapi.” In 1876 the Southern Pacific Railroad officially affixed this spelling to the town. There are many variations of meaning of the word Tehachapi, such as “windy place,” “plenty of acorns and water” and ‘flat place
In 1869, pioneer Peter D. Greene was appointed postmaster at the stage station at Oak creek, calling it “Tehichipa”. In 1875, Greene was appointed postmaster of Greenwich. Greenwich was a viable population center until it ceased to exist in 1877 when the present City site was established with the coming of the railroad in 1876. The postal name Tehichipa applied to Tehachapi until 1893, when the name was officially to Tehachapi since neither Old Town nor Greenwich no longer existed.
Erected by Main Street Tehachapi, Tehachapi Heritage League and The City of Tehachapi.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Exploration • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical month for this entry is April 1844.
Location. 35° 7.789′ N, 118° 26.885′ W. Marker is in Tehachapi, California, in Kern County. Marker is on S Green Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 311 S Green Street, Tehachapi CA 93561, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Importance of Water and Creation of Brite Lake (a few steps from this marker); Errea House (within shouting distance
Credits. This page was last revised on May 31, 2019. It was originally submitted on May 29, 2019, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. This page has been viewed 76 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on May 29, 2019, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.