Bakersfield in Kern County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
The first thing I remember knowing was a lonesome whistle blowing
And a youngun's dream of growing up to ride
On a freight train leaving town not knowing where I'm bound
And no one could change my mind but Mama tried
-From Mama Tried, written and recorded by Merle Haggard
In 1935, James and Flossie Haggard bought this Santa Fe Railroad refrigerator car located on property at 1303 Yosemite Drive from Marianna Bohna for $500.00. After modifying the former railroad car and constructing two additions, James and Flossie moved into their new home in Oildale with their two children Lillian and Lowell. This converted railroad car was supposed to be a temporary living situation while they built a larger permanent home. However, when their son Merle was born on April 6, 1937, the family's plan to build a larger home changed.
Merle Haggard would grow up to become one of Country Music's most famous singer and song writers with 40 songs that reached number one on the music charts. He helped to define a style of music known as the Bakersfield Sound and had a lasting influence on American music.
Erected by Kern Country Museum, Cynthia Lake Charitable Trust.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Arts, Letters, Music.
Location. 35° 23.537′ N, 119° 1.283′ W. Marker is in Bakersfield, California, in Kern County. Marker can be reached from Chester Avenue. Located within the Kern County Musuem. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3801 Chester Avenue, Bakersfield CA 93301, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Bena Depot (a few steps from this marker); Gazebo (a few steps from this marker); Southern Pacific Engine #2914 (a few steps from this marker); Joss House (within shouting distance of this marker); Southern Pacific Railroad Jail (within shouting distance of this marker); Santa Fe Caboose #1323 (within shouting distance of this marker); Fairhaven Pump House (within shouting distance of this marker); Drug Store (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bakersfield.
Also see . . . Home at last: Emotional Haggard accompanies boxcar to museum. (Submitted on July 7, 2019, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California.)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 10, 2019. It was originally submitted on July 6, 2019, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. This page has been viewed 93 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 6, 2019, by Denise Boose of Tehachapi, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.