Kern County Stories

Some Call It Determination

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Written by Francis Mayer

Man and land in Kern County have taken turns beating on each other for vast sums of money and glory over the last one hundred and fifty years.

And it has produced some world-famous heroes in the fields of agriculture and petroleum, as their accomplishments help feed and fuel the entire nation.

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Converging Spirits

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Written by Gordon Lull

“Destiny itself is like a wide tapestry in which every thread is guided by an unspeakably tender hand, placed beside another thread and held and carried by a hundred others.” —Rainer Maria Rilke Read the rest of this entry »

Movers, Shakers, & Scoundrels!

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“Union Cemetery is very much a part of the story of Kern County and Bakersfield. The cemetery doesn’t just contain the souls of those long-departed founders and influencers, it is physical history.” —Dave Hepburn Read the rest of this entry »

The Legend of the Oriental Flying Dutchman

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The area we know today as Edwards Air Force Base has a very colorful history indeed.

Before the Southern Pacific Railroad arrived in 1876, this area of the Mojave Desert was occupied by the occasional drifting prospector searching for wealth…and a few Joshua trees. In 1882, according to Edwards’ website, “the Santa Fe Railroad ran a line westward from Barstow toward Mojave and building a water stop at the edge of an immense dry lakebed.” The stop became known as “Rod” because the lakebed had been named Rodriguez Dry Lake, quite the mouthful. Read the rest of this entry »

Kern’s First II

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This is the second part of our story on Kern’s earliest residents: the Native American people who first called this area home. Read the rest of this entry »

Kern’s First

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Long before our written history began, and years before a plough ever touched the fertile soil of our county, the land we now call home was enjoyed and revered by its first residents. Read the rest of this entry »

Honor Flight—American Pride

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“Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of the men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory.” —General George S. Patton
Just a few short years after General George S. Patton spoke those words, the entire world was at war. Over sixty years later, local World War II veterans gathered at American Sound Recording Studios in Bakersfield to record their own stories—many of which they had never uttered until that day. As part of the local chapter of the Honor Flight Network (a nonprofit organization that flies WWII vets out to visit their monument,the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C., several times a year), the men who so bravely protected our country from the likes of Hitler all had a turn with the microphone to vocalize what it was that they heard, saw, and lived during their service.

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Generations II: Kern County Family

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Written by Gordon F. Lull

“What? Have you any sense of direction at all? Where are you? Burke Hill? Let me make it easy for you. When you get back into town, take Ming Avenue and go all the way to Ashe. Take a right in the direction of Stockdale, then a left on Tevis Drive. You’re right there.”

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The Three Rs

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We’ve come a long way from the early days of the three Rs, both as a nation and a county. Our great-great-grandparents were educated in a very different time and place, as there was little to no state-sanctioned curriculum before the mid-nineteenth century. Read the rest of this entry »

In The Name Of The Law

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By  Gordon F. Lull
Cops, Crooks, Sheriffs,  and Two Events that Shaped Bakersfield’s Early History.

Laws are for the lawless and the lawless are richly represented in the race. And just as written laws, in theory, circumscribe the appetites and evil inclinations of most, so law enforcement shoulders the task of controlling those in the real world who need more coaxing.  Read the rest of this entry »

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