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Tehachapi in Kern County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Early Explorers in the Tehachapi Area

 
 
Early Explorers in the Tehachapi Area Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, May 25, 2019
1. Early Explorers in the Tehachapi Area Marker
Inscription.  The first non-Indian man known to visit the local Indians in the Tehachapi area was Father Francisco Garces in 1776. He didn’t record much about them other than to record that they gave him food and were friendly people.

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

Early Explorers in the Tehachapi Area Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, May 25, 2019
2. Early Explorers in the Tehachapi Area Marker
covered with oaks” – all of which are appropriate. In the Kawaiisu dictionary there is a word “tiha-cipi-a” which means “hard climbing” which may be the most accurate meaning.

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.
 
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 of this marker); The Kawaiisu (within shouting distance of this marker);

Early Explorers in the Tehachapi Area Marker image. Click for full size.
By Denise Boose, May 25, 2019
3. Early Explorers in the Tehachapi Area Marker
Real Estate Development Since The 1960s (within shouting distance of this marker); Tehachapi Museum (within shouting distance of this marker); Wind Energy Industry (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named The Tehachapi Museum (within shouting distance of this marker); Early Settlers (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tehachapi.
 
Categories. ExplorationSettlements & Settlers
 

More. Search the internet for Early Explorers in the Tehachapi Area.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 31, 2019. This page originally submitted on May 29, 2019, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. This page has been viewed 43 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on May 29, 2019, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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