Historical Markers and War Memorials in Bakersfield, California
Bakersfield is the county seat for Kern County
Bakersfield is in Kern County
Kern County(332) ► ADJACENT TO KERN COUNTY Inyo County(128) ► Kings County(8) ► Los Angeles County(1800) ► San Bernardino County(307) ► San Luis Obispo County(103) ► Santa Barbara County(135) ► Tulare County(81) ► Ventura County(175) ►
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Adobe was a common material used to construct buildings from the Spanish mission period of California history through the 1930s.
Adobe is a sun-dried brick made from soil or clay. This structure was built to resemble an adobe dwelling . . . — — Map (db m25062) HM
This is the original site of the residence of pioneer merchant Alphone Weill, wife Henrietta, and three children, Irma, Blanche, and Lawrence. The house, built in 1882-3, and now standing in Pioneer Village, was constructed by Alexis Godey, former . . . — — Map (db m55120) HM
Former site of two-story
opened December 26, 1874. Rebuilt to
three stories after fire of 1889
and operated until 1915. Redesigned
in 1916 to two-story business and
store building. — — Map (db m55122) HM
Kern County experienced a mining boom just like other parts of California. Prospectors arriving from near and far found gold, silver and other valuable ore in Kern County’s mountains beginning in the 1850s.
An assayer tests the purity . . . — — Map (db m26080) HM
The water tower was originally built in 1933 and was located at Bakersfield High School on the corner of 14th and C streets. The tower was built to provide water to the campus independent of the city’s water supply and had access to four wells that . . . — — Map (db m237365) HM
Public parks sprang up as a response to the increasingly polluted urban environments created by the industrial revolution in the 1800s.
Urbanization and industrialization began to change American life by the 1840s. Large, open, green . . . — — Map (db m25447) HM
This site patented by Colonel Thomas Baker in 1867. Numerous individuals owned property until erection of Bank of Bakersfield in 1903. Replaced by present Bank of America building in 1930. — — Map (db m55118) HM
After being injured while fighting for the Confederacy during the Civil War, Thomas Barnes came to Kern County looking for opportunity.
In 1868, a tremendous flood washed trees from the Sierra Nevada Mountains down the Kern River . . . — — Map (db m25076) HM
The Beale Memorial Clock Tower was a gift to the City of Bakersfield from Truxtun Beale in memory of his mother, Mary Edwards Beale.
Dedicated on April 2, 1904, the clock tower originally stood in the center of the intersection at Chester . . . — — Map (db m170346) HM
Situated at the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley, Kern County was part of a natural corridor for a railroad running between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The Southern Pacific Railroad began laying track southward from San . . . — — Map (db m25117) HM
Many large farms and ranches throughout Kern County operated a blacksmith shop to make and repair tools.
This blacksmith shop was built at the Calloway Ranch around 1890. The Calloway Ranch was located near the Kern County Land . . . — — Map (db m26972) HM
This site was deeded by Col Thomas Baker to Agnes Stine in 1871. Dave Hirshfeld ran the Pioneer Store here in 1899. Succeeded by Otto Belau in the same year. In 1904 the business was sold to Hochheimer and Co. After the 1919 fire the structure was . . . — — Map (db m55116) HM
The bungalow style home was popular throughout California and across the country in the early years of the 1900s because of its simplistic design and low cost.
People migrating to California often had very limited resources and would . . . — — Map (db m64023)
Kern County is one of the top oil producing areas in the United States. Four oil fields in Kern County have each produced over one billion barrels of oil.
In 1899, the discovery of oil on land near the Kern River started an oil boom. . . . — — Map (db m25692) HM
Elisha Stephens was born in South Carolina in 1804 and moved to Georgia with his family at a young age.
However, he was to spend most of the first half of his life in the frontier lands bordering the Missouri River. Like many other Americans of his . . . — — Map (db m55187) HM
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. . . . — — Map (db m134436) HM
During the 1880s, this wagon was used by a cook as a portable kitchen to prepare meals for field hands employed by the Kern County Land Company.
The wagon is equipped with a pantry for storing vegetables and bread, a sink, a work space . . . — — Map (db m26973) HM
From the 1850s to the 1890s, the lure of gold brought people to the mountains and deserts of Kern County. Mining towns such as Claraville, Havilah and Randsburg sprang up almost overnight.
Although most of the residents of these . . . — — Map (db m25994) HM
The Crites Building was designed by Bakersfield architect Benjamin McDougall (1865-1937) of McDougall Brothers of San Francisco and constructed as a two-story retail business by Charles J. Lindgren Company of San Francisco in 1900 for John . . . — — Map (db m120916) HM
Tooth decay was a common and greatly feared ailment in earlier days.
People either had to make do with a painful tooth or find someone to pull it. If a trained dentist could not be found or afforded, a blacksmith or another person who . . . — — Map (db m25929) HM
Oil was discovered at 70 feet in 1899, when Tom Means persuaded Roe Elwood and Frank Wiseman, aided by Jonathan, Bert, Jed, and Ken Elwood, George Wiseman, and John Marlowe, to dig here for oil. On June 1, 1899, 400 feet to the north, Horace and . . . — — Map (db m168102) HM
Until modern medicine, contagious diseases afflicted both young and old and many died at a young age.
In 1875, there were fifteen physicians in Kern County, which had a widely scattered population of approximately 2,700 people. These . . . — — Map (db m25921) HM
This gentleman deserves so much more than a simple grave marker saying, “Father – Joseph J. Lopez – 1852 – 1939”. The man’s true name was José Jesús Lopez (or J. J.). Among other things he was in charge of all of . . . — — Map (db m83347) HM
Treatment for illness and the maintenance of good health were important for the success of a new community.
Early pharmacists compounded prescription medicine with mortars and pestles, made their own pills, and sold popular patent . . . — — Map (db m25308) HM
In the 1930’s, more than half of a million Americans fled the Southwestern part of the United States due to the prolonged drought called the “Dust Bowl.”
Traveling in old cars with just basic necessities, the migrants came primarily from . . . — — Map (db m167100) HM
These days restaurants come and go in the blink of an eye. But every so often a venue dishes up just the right mix of food and ambiance. Ethel's Old Corral is a perfect example of a restaurant getting it right. Great food, entertainment, customer . . . — — Map (db m89308) HM
F.W. Woolworth's stores have been in various Bakersfield locations since 1911. The most modernly-equipped and air-conditioned F.W. Woolworth's store on the Pacific Coast opened to the public on May 6, 1950.
Jackson Brothers of Los Angeles . . . — — Map (db m109177) HM
Access to adequate water supplies was crucial to the settlement of Kern County.
Water from the Kern River was diverted to irrigate farmlands, but most towns relied on wells for drinking water.
The Fairhaven Water Company built this . . . — — Map (db m25493) HM
The First Baptist Church was completed under the supervision of local architect Charles H. Biggar (1882 - 1946) in 1932. The building, designed in the Northern Italian Romanesque architectural style, is described in the National Register of Historic . . . — — Map (db m117418) HM
In 1889, First Presbyterian Church began its ministry in Kern County as Cumberland Presbyterian Church. In 1905 the church merged with Westminster Presbyterian; being renamed First Presbyterian Church of Bakersfield. The church acquired property on . . . — — Map (db m117142) HM
Padre Garces seeking a new route between Sonora, Mexico and Monterey crossed Rio de San Felipe (Kern River May 7, 1776) at Rancheria San Miguel now Bakersfield. First recorded white man in this locality, he brought Christianity to the Indian and on . . . — — Map (db m34769) HM
To entertain men seeking their fortunes in mining boom towns, social clubs and fraternal organizations held meetings and offered other diversions in Kern County’s mining communities.
The exhibits on display in this building contain . . . — — Map (db m26006) HM
A gazebo is a common garden structure often found in warm climates to provide shade.
Dairy owner Christian Mattly built this gazebo next to a dormitory for students enrolled in courses at the Kern County High School farm around 1905. . . . — — Map (db m25369) HM
One of the first retail establishments built in a small town during the early 1900s was a general store selling food, household goods and hardware to people living nearby
The town of Woody, named for Sparrel Woody, was established about . . . — — Map (db m83625) HM
Gordon’s Ferry was an overhead cable type of ferry operated during the 1850’s by Major Gordon. An adobe station house was located on the south bank of Kern River, just a few yards to the west of this marker. It was also a station on the Butterfield . . . — — Map (db m25149) HM
George Haberfelde (1871 - 1962), a civic and business leader in the community, contracted with local architect Charles H. Biggar (1882 - 1946) to construct this five-story office and retail building in the Sullivanesque architectural style. When . . . — — Map (db m116966) HM
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, . . . — — Map (db m136236) HM
Newspapers brought news of wars, politics, local happenings and other important information to the residents of Kern County.
This exhibit displays artifacts reminiscent of Kern County’s first newspaper office, the Weekly Courier. . . . — — Map (db m26087) HM
The Hay Building was initially constructed in the Victorian architectural style in 1894 for the Dinkelspiel brothers, Emile (1852-1906) and Louis (1854-1906). Dinkelspiel Brothers operated as a “Store of Fashionable Merchandise” at . . . — — Map (db m120917) HM
The Hayden Building is a classic example of Second Renaissance Revival architectural style. It was designed for the Kern County Land Company by San Francisco architect Charles I. Haven (1849-1916) and opened in 1904 as the Hayden Furniture Company. . . . — — Map (db m117419) HM
Near this spot stood the last home of Elisha Stevens, noted American pathfinder and scout. Born in Georgia April 5, 1804, he learned blacksmithing during his youth. Drifting west he became a trapper on the Upper Missouri for more than two decades. . . . — — Map (db m231869) HM
Only the most impoverished people sought treatment at a hospital.
The first county hospital in Bakersfield opened its doors to the public in January 1875. The hospital was constructed at 13th and G Streets for $1,400.00. It was a plain . . . — — Map (db m27061) HM
The discovery of oil on the west side of Kern County in the late 1800s brought an influx of people to the area and created oil boom towns such as Fellows, Reward, and Taft.
In 1910, L. R. Buchanan built the Hotel Fellows for Martha . . . — — Map (db m25992) HM
In 1891, William Howell hired local carpenter John Singleton to construct this Queen Anne style Victorian home on the northeast corner of 17th and H Streets in Bakersfield.
William Howell moved with his parents and sisters from . . . — — Map (db m25034) HM
This area was originally a portion of the Jewett Brothers’ Ranches. In 1859 Solomon and Philo Jewett walked 2000 miles to present day Kern County. They built the first store in Bakersfield in 1865 and the same year raised the first commercial cotton . . . — — Map (db m24989) HM
The Chinese community was an early and significant element of the population of Kern County.
Chinese immigrants contributed to the social, economic and industrial growth of Kern County by mining, farming, building railroads, and owning . . . — — Map (db m25318) HM
East Bakersfield, originally named Sumner, was founded by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1874. The name of the town was changed to Kern in 1893 and shortly thereafter was called Kern City.
This building, constructed in 1910, was . . . — — Map (db m25063) HM
When European explorers first came to what is now Kern County, it was inhabited predominantly by indigenous peoples known as the Chumash, Kawaiisu, Kitanemuk, Serrano, Tubatulabal and Yokuts.
The Kern County area was first claimed by the . . . — — Map (db m167101) HM
The Kern County Chamber of Commerce building was completed in 1928, Chester Avenue was part of State Highway 99, the main north-south route through California.
Architect Charles H. Biggar designed this Spanish-style building on land . . . — — Map (db m25008) HM
This was the site of the original county courthouse in Bakersfield (1874). In 1913 it was purchased by the city for use as a city hall and was occupied until the earthquakes of 1952. The present city hall was dedicated in 1954. — — Map (db m116962) HM
Over the years, county fairs have provided a venue for farmers and their families to showcase crops, livestock, arts, and crafts and learn about the latest agricultural techniques.
The land presently occupied by the museum was once the . . . — — Map (db m51873) HM
Completed in January of 1909, the Hall of Records is the oldest government building in continous operation in Kern County. The structure was originally designed and constructed by Los Angeles architects Robert Train (1869-1951) and Robert Williams . . . — — Map (db m115127) HM
In 1894, four years after the formation of the Kern County Land Company, the firm built an office building that demonstrated its "Faith in the Future" of Bakersfield. The structure with outside walls of cream colored pressed brick, trimmed with gray . . . — — Map (db m52573) HM
To the more than 14,000 men and women from Kern County who served in Vietnam… and to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice… you are not forgotten.
Wind Beneath My Wings
Clayton A. Fannin
Larry S. Pierce ∙ . . . — — Map (db m25130) HM
In 1871 Horatio P. Livermore and William Muehe built the Kern River Flour Mills on the Kern Island Canal. Muehe sold his interest to Fordyce Roper in 1874 and Livermore to James B. Haggin in 1879, who also acquired Roper's interest in 1884. The . . . — — Map (db m53243) HM
Just south of this point stood the Butterfield Overland Stage site known as Kern River Slough. Operating through present Kern County during 1858 – 1861. This famous line ran from St. Louis, Missouri to San Francisco until the outbreak of the . . . — — Map (db m24946) HM
The Kern Valley Bank, established on February 24, 1874, was the first bank incorporated in Kern County.
Established soon after the economic depression known as the Panic of 1873, the Kern Valley Bank managed to weather the nationwide . . . — — Map (db m25978) HM
S.H. Kress & Co. was the trading name of a national chain of "five and dime" retail department stores operating from 1896 to 1981. Opening in 1931, this three-story reinforced steel and masonry building was designed by New York City-based architect . . . — — Map (db m115124) HM
José and Mary Lόpez belonged to the first generation of Americans born in California after statehood was granted on September 9, 1850.
José Lόpez came to Kern County to raise sheep in 1873. The following year Edward Beale, . . . — — Map (db m25013) HM
Near this site stood the home of Alexis Godey, frontiersman and scout, who lived here from 1883 until his death on January 19, 1889. Born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1818, he acted as guide for John C. Frémont's expedition through the Kern area in . . . — — Map (db m51676) HM
Site of Livermore and Chester Store, first business establishment in Bakersfield, an adobe structure built in 1865. Purchased by H. H. Fish in 1886. Destroyed in the fire of 1889. Rebuilt in 1890. — — Map (db m55119) HM
Thomas Metcalf built this charming Eastlake-style Victorian house on the southwest corner of Dracena and C Streets near downtown Bakersfield in 1885.
Thomas Metcalf, born in St. Clairsville, Ohio, enlisted to fight for the Union Army . . . — — Map (db m25983) HM
Large scale farming and ranching was needed to supply the restaurants and grocery stores in fast-growing cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles in the late 1800s.
Henry Miller and Charles Lux purchased large areas of land throughout . . . — — Map (db m25309) HM
One-room school houses dotted the rural Western landscape to serve sparse populations before the automobile made transportation to towns faster and easier.
This one-room school was built in 1882 north of the town of Rosedale on land . . . — — Map (db m25075) HM
This mural depicts Oildale around 1899, from the bridge to the surrounding oil derricks on the hills.
Oildale was called "Waits" during the oil boom.
To your right is Waits Train Station, on Norris Road.
Several business sprang up, . . . — — Map (db m64663) HM
Pablo Galtes facilitated the establishment of the Catholic community of Bakersfield in the early 1870's. The first Mass celebrated in Bakersfield was said in the back of Pablo's store located on 19th Street near Chester Avenue. (Eleven family . . . — — Map (db m210596) HM
The Padre Hotel is an eight-story Spanish Colonial Revival architectural style building constructed on the former estate of Judge Benjamin Brundage (1834-1913). The Padre was originally designed by Los Angeles architect John M. Cooper (1883-1950) in . . . — — Map (db m115125) HM
The invention of photography and mass production of photographic prints brought images of never before seen people, places and events into American homes.
By the 1850s, people could obtain a photograph depicting their exact likeness at . . . — — Map (db m25115) HM
During their childhood, William Pinkney and Amanda Boydston took part in a migration of Americans heading west to seek land, gold and other opportunities in the western states shortly after the end of the Civil War.
In 1898, William . . . — — Map (db m25114) HM
Two and one half miles east of this point, on a small flat south of Poso Creek, is the site of one of six stagecoach stations in Kern County belonging to the Butterfield Overland Mail Company. The Butterfield Company operated along a southern route . . . — — Map (db m168620) HM
Railroad yards are highly specialized facilities consisting of engine maintenance buildings, fueling areas, track and switching areas and material storage yards.
This scale house was used in the Santa Fe Railroad switchyard in . . . — — Map (db m25636) HM
One mile north of here on May 1, 1776, Francisco Garces of the Franciscan Order, crossed Kern River in his search for a shorter route from Sonora, Mexico to Monterey, California. He was the first known explorer to describe this river, which he . . . — — Map (db m24984) HM
People living in small towns built churches to provide services within walking distance from their homes.
Saint John’s Episcopal Mission opened to parishioners in Rosedale in 1892. In the early days, a pastor from Saint Paul’s Episcopal . . . — — Map (db m25457) HM
The caboose was an office, a lookout, and a home away from home for a train crew.
In the days before automatic air brakes, the engineer signaled the caboose with his whistle when he wanted to slow down or stop. A brakeman would then . . . — — Map (db m25598) HM
The decorative fence posts are from the original 1876 courthouse and the statues were on top of the 1912 courthouse.
Bakersfield's first courthouse was constructed in 1876 and the building served as a courthouse and hall of records on the . . . — — Map (db m237218) HM
Spanish missionaries brought the first domesticated sheep to California. During the Gold Rush, sheep provided food and textiles to people seeking their fortune in California.
In 1906, Thomas Quinn built this cabin to provide housing . . . — — Map (db m25081) HM
In 1863 Col. Thomas Baker settled on the site of the present City of Bakersfield and fenced a ten-acre plot of alfalfa. This became known as Baker's Field where travelers through the area camped with their stock for protection from marauding outlaw . . . — — Map (db m120922) HM
The popularity of the automobile created an increasing demand for petroleum products, like gasoline, in the early 1900s.
Americans were suddenly able to travel to new destinations faster and easier than ever before, thus requiring new . . . — — Map (db m25187) HM
This locomotive, among the largest and most powerful on the Southern Pacific Railroad system, supported the growth and development of the San Joaquin Valley and the West.
Engine #2914, called a 4-8-0 because of its wheel . . . — — Map (db m25600) HM
Approximately 3,000 men labored on railroad construction up and over the Tehachapi Mountains in the 1870s.
It took over three years for the line to be completed through Kern County. As the railroad slowly progressed through the county, . . . — — Map (db m25606) HM
This standard end pumping unit was salvaged and erected by the Production Department, Chevron U.S.A., Inc., La Habra to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Standard Oil Company of California
The unit is composed of original parts from the San . . . — — Map (db m26118) HM
Constructed in 1917 by Henry Jastro, this building is listed on both The National Register of Historic Buildings and the The Register of Historic Places by the Bakersfield City Council. It originally housed the executive offices of Standard Oil . . . — — Map (db m55124) HM
The discovery of oil near the Kern River in 1899 brought people to the area, creating a boomtown such as Oil Center, Oil City and Oildale.
The Standard School District was formed in 1909. Standard Oil Company donated five acres of land . . . — — Map (db m51874) HM
This barn, used to feed and harness teams of horses, was originally located at 1606 “R” Street in Bakersfield.
Four horses could be fed and harnessed inside this barn. Chopped hay, stored in the barn’s loft, was lowered . . . — — Map (db m25642) HM
The Fox Theater was designed by Los Angeles-based motion picture theater architect S. Charles Lee (1899-1990), built by Beller Construction, and supervised by local architect Charles H. Biggar (1882-1946). The three-story Spanish Colonial Revival . . . — — Map (db m115126) HM
This memorial stands in honor of those who have served, and continue to serve in the longest war in our nation's history: The Global War on Terror.
"To our brothers, never below us, never above us, always beside us" - FRD — — Map (db m225388) WM
Life in the mid 1800s was difficult. The average age of death in the United States of America was around 40 years old. Disease, accidents and hard work took its toll on people lives.
This exhibit displays artifacts, dating from the . . . — — Map (db m26141) HM
In 1924, Bakersfield was the twenty-first city in California to receive a Federal Post Office Building. Built at a cost of $130,000, the Mission architecture style building, constructed of masonry and concrete and reinforced with steel, was the . . . — — Map (db m122018) HM
A three-alarm fire swept through the Fish Building in 1936, destroying a business that had stood at this site since 1890. The current structure, built in 1938 by local contractor Henry Eissler (1879-1966), was designed by local architect Charles H. . . . — — Map (db m109178) HM
This memorial site is erected and dedicated by the members of the Bakersfield Fire Department and our many supporting community partners, on this eleventh day of September, in the year two-thousand and sixteen A.D., on behalf of the citizens of . . . — — Map (db m139587) WM
Built on the southeast corner of 17th and H Streets in Bakersfield in 1882, Alphonse and Henrietta Weill’s house was considered “modern” for its day because of the high ceilings, long hallway, and indoor plumbing.
In 1870, . . . — — Map (db m25395) HM
Alphonse Weill came from France to Havilah in 1870 and moved to Bakersfield in 1872, was employed by merchant Jacob Weil (No Relation), and became his partner in 1873. Subsequently Weill acquired the business and named it Weill's Department Store. A . . . — — Map (db m55123) HM
In the decades after the end of the Civil War, an unstable economy created economic and social turmoil in the United States. People looking for opportunity migrated to the West.
The Kern County Land Company founded the Rosedale Colony . . . — — Map (db m25678) HM
The discovery of gold in California in 1849 started one of the greatest migrations in American history.
After moving west to seek their fortune in California, people living in mining camps had to travel long distances to a large city . . . — — Map (db m25143) HM