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Bakersfield's Sound

Kern Valley Bank

Written by Bakersfield Magazine

The great fire of 1889, which raged for three hours through Bakersfield, took place on the Sunday afternoon of July 7. While families were attending church, an inferno started innocently enough...

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Budweiser Rocket

Written by Bakersfield Magazine

It was William A. Ward who once said, “Adversity causes some men to break, others to break records.” There was no notable adversity that drove Stan Barrett to break the sound barrier on land that cold December morning in 1979—just the dream that was carried by both the man and the owner of the vehicle that propelled him to glory...

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Beale Clock Tower

Written by Bakersfield Magazine

Anyone who has been by the Kern County Museum has undoubtedly seen the great, temporal monument erected out front. But what may not be as evident as its presence is the origin of this local structure and the resistance it received when initially being placed...

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Union Avenue Plunge

Written by Bakersfield Magazine

Modern-day Bakersfield has spray parks and the multi-acre McMurtry Aquatic Complex for cooling off and beating the summer heat. But according to local historian Gilbert Gia, back in the day, local citizens had a massive 100 by 300 foot pool called the Union Avenue Plunge...

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99 Drive-in Theatre c.1949

Written by Bakersfield magazine

Where are those of us who can remember Bakersfield’s simpler times well: times when everything was “Mom and Pop.” One such person is resident William Lewis, who not only grew up during the heydays of the drive-in movie theater, but got a unique understanding of some of these outdoor attractions, as well...

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Kern County High School c.1880s

Written by Bakersfield Magazine

There are certain parts of Bakersfield that carry lesser-known histories that borderline on the macabre and curious. Some bear mysteries that have yet to be solved while others were laid to rest years ago...

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Motorcycle Hill Climb c.1923

Written by Bakersfield Magazine

Overlooking a veritable sea of oil derricks, the hills of Bakersfield were once the holding place of some incredible endurance tests. At least, they were when it came to motorcycle racing—an activity that was engaged in a few times a year in decades past. Some of these famous “hill climbs,” however, were more extreme—and far more exciting—than others...

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First National Bank of Bakersfield c.1920

Written by Bakersfield Magazine

For well over a century, Kern County has been known as a black goldmine. In our earliest days of drilling, oil made more than just a few people rich—it made our entire community rich in a myriad of ways...

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Bakersfield Inn c.1949

Written by Bakersfield Magazine

While the United States was facing a Great Depression, two brothers set out to start something great; something of their own. Brothers Oscar and C.L. Tomerlin began building the Bakersfield Inn on the west side of Union Avenue...

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Kern County Fair c.1929

Written by Bakersfield Magazine

The Kern County Fair is known far and wide for representing the time of year where you can eat deep fried anything in abundance, watch a rodeo, purchase countless locally made wares, see livestock, and have your picture taken with a camel...

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