Kern County Stories

Kern County Library

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When Beale Memorial Library formally opened in Bakersfield in the summer of 1900, it marked an important point in our community’s history.

Prior to that day—June 2—there had only been grassroots book lending groups and small organizations attempting to gather the resources to officially give Kern County a library.

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Kern County Photo Archives

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When’s the last time you took a look at your family’s photo albums?

Though it’s not an activity loved by all, most people enjoy taking a walk down Memory Lane and not only seeing themselves at different stages in their lives, but seeing photos of those family members who’ve come before them. Grandmothers, great-great uncles; blurry black and white photos of ancient people to whom you’re somehow related.

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The Golden Bungle: Kern’s Not-so-Great Train Robbery

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By Gordon F. Lull

The boy dug more furiously here at the end than he had at the beginning, when he buried the things. Back then, he wielded the shovel in panic and greed. Now he worked quickly under a moonless winter sky, lit by the hope that the great mistake he had made might be reversed.

Six Days Earlier…

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Flying High in Kern: Pancho Barnes

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Florence Lowe made a name for herself in the aviation world. But that name wasn’t Florence. And it certainly wasn’t Flo or any other derivation…

No, the world would come to know her as Pancho, a moniker far removed in every way from her background; and the world would come to celebrate her life and legacy as an aviatrix, entrepreneur, and innovator.

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Shooting Bee With Dr. Lemke

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“Upon reaching the Arlington Hotel at 19th Street and Chester Avenue, Brown ran into Deputy Canaday and told him that he had “a little shooting bee with Dr. Lemke.”

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In The Pits

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You’re a mastodon.
(Bear with us here!) You’re wandering around western Kern County—granted, it wasn’t called Kern County at that point but that’s neither here nor there. You’re enjoying the sunny weather and decide to stop for a leisurely drink. When your thirst has been quenched at a shallow pool of water you go to move, only to find your front legs stuck
in the ground. Read the rest of this entry »

Believe It Or Not…UFOs Over Kern

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Fox Mulder is a dirty, rotten liar. The truth isn’t out there. Sure, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has given us a lot to be suspicious about over the years. And recently, those dark-suited, sunglasses-wearin’ secret agents have pulled a Disney and opened up their secret vault of files documenting unexplained phenomenon.
But instead of helping us solve the riddles about Roswell, UFOs, and creepy bright lights in the night sky, these documents have only raised more questions. One of those being: what exactly happened out at Muroc Air Force Base (now Edwards) in the summer of 1947? Read the rest of this entry »

Midnight Battle at Midway

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By Sarah Woodman
Until the fall of 1908, when the lands thought to be valuable for petroleum were withdrawn from agricultural entry, it was possible for two people to claim rights to the same section of land—one under mining law and one under agricultural law. Understandably, this led to numerous conflicts. One such conflict arose in April 1901. Read the rest of this entry »

Reflections: Golden Memories of Kern County

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“Memory,” wrote Oscar Wilde, “is the diary that we all carry about with us.” Every soul in Bakersfield and Kern County carries about, through works and days, memories of the past. Each bears an inner diary. In the case of those who have seen many years, there is often the need to open the diary’s pages and make its secrets known. To try and make sense of it all. Six Bakersfield residents did that recently.
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Randsburg

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Written by Donna McCrohan Rosenthal

Two Names, One Overriding Theme.

The names: Dr. Rose Victoria Lamont Burcham and Dr. Thomas A. Drummond.

The overriding theme: The spirit of the Old West never died here.

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