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

Colonel Thomas Baker

 
 
Colonel Thomas Baker Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 26, 2009
1. Colonel Thomas Baker Marker
Inscription.
California Historical Landmark
Colonel Thomas Baker
Civil Engineer – Lawyer
Farmer – Soldier
1810 – 1872
In 1863 Colonel Baker came to this location. A friend to all travelers. His settlement became known at “Baker’s Field.” This civic center is his dream come true. His motto —
“Time will justify a man
who means to do right”

Dedicated
October 18, 1942
Kern County Historical Society, Bakersfield City Council, El Tejon Parlor No. 239 N.D.G.W., Bakersfied Parlor No.42 N.S.G.W., Kern County Board of Supervisors, Kern County Chamber of Commerce
Private Donations
State Registered Landmark No.382

 
Erected 1942. (Marker Number 382.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Native Sons/Daughters of the Golden West marker series.
 
Location. 35° 22.383′ N, 119° 1.159′ W. Marker is in Bakersfield, California, in Kern County. Marker is on Truxtun Avenue near Chester Avenue, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Statue and marker are located in front of the Bakersfield City Hall on the southwest corner. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1501 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield CA 93301, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Kern County Vietnam War Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Bakersfield Californian
Colonel Thomas Baker Statue and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 26, 2009
2. Colonel Thomas Baker Statue and Marker
(about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Alphonse Weill Residence (about 700 feet away); Livermore and Chester Store (approx. 0.2 miles away); Arlington House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Weill's Department Store (approx. ¼ mile away); Bank of Bakersfield (approx. ¼ mile away); Brock's Department Store (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bakersfield.
 
Regarding Colonel Thomas Baker. This site was designated as California Registered Historical Landmark No. 382 on January 3,1944.
 
Also see . . .  Find-A-Grave. Colonel Thomas Baker is buried at the Union Cemetery in Bakersfield. (Submitted on November 28, 2009.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Clarification of Incorrect Information Regarding Photo #5
• In the 1830's - 1840's there was a trapper in the area by the name of Thomas Fitzgerald. Thomas built a reed & stick home on what was later known as Kern Island. He abandoned it to go look for gold in the late 1840's.

• In the early 1850's a fellow by the name of Christian Bohna moved into that structure, planted crops in the area, and filed for a homestead. His "farm" was completely wiped out in the great flood of 1862.

• Bohna decided to move further north and he sold the reed &
Colonel Thomas Baker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 26, 2009
3. Colonel Thomas Baker
stick house and 160 acres of homesteaded land to Col. Thomas Baker for a grand total of $200

So as you can see, Baker did not "build a primitive residence on this site" as the plaque reads. He just moved into the Fitzgerald/Bohna structure, then added on to it later.
    — Submitted September 13, 2015.

 
Categories. Notable PersonsSettlements & Settlers
 
Colonel Thomas Baker image. Click for full size.
By Kern County Museum, November 27, 2009
4. Colonel Thomas Baker
This photo is on display at the Kern County Museum on a Wayside Marker titled "Kern County Begins"

Bakersfield is named for Colonel Thomas Baker, who was known for his friendliness towards travelers, letting them graze their horses in his pasture known as "Baker's Field."
Col. Thomas Baker's Home Marker image. Click for full size.
By Alan Price
5. Col. Thomas Baker's Home Marker
A related marker was put up in 1979 By E Clampus Vitus near the intersection of Truxton and R Streets where the Baker residence once stood, an intersection that no longer exists. The marker was removed and was recently located at Silver City Ghost Town in Bodfish, California leaning against one of the old buildings moved there. Marker reads:
Col. Baker's Home
In 1863 Col. Thomas Baker built a primitive
residence on this site. The City of
Bakersfield was named in his honor.


Editor's Note: It has been reported that this plaque was never installed as it was verified by descendants of Thomas Baker that the information on the plaque is incorrect. The plaque is now in the possession of the E Clampus Vitas Chapter.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 27, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 2,714 times since then and 153 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on November 27, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   2, 3. submitted on November 28, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   4. submitted on January 1, 2010, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   5. submitted on August 27, 2015, by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California.
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