Back in the early 1900s, Bakersfield was known for being a wild party town. “At that time I arrived in Bakersfield, which was the twenty-seventh day of December 1909, it was a wide-open, rip-roaring, frontier town, with 65 saloons, a population of about 8,500, and a red light district that was a wonder. The population was…free and easy in their morals, liberal in their attitudes, and all-around good sports,” reads Inside Historic Kern.
It reads like something out of the Book of Revelation: “What happened at the bottom of the hole will never be known, but suddenly a great shower of rocks, sand and glass spewed forth and it literally rained oil over a huge expanse of the countryside. It was months before anyone got near it again. All efforts at controlling it were abandoned…”
What started as a one woman secretarial and mailing business back in 1963 has developed into a local mainstay business that also sells printing nationally. From the very beginning, Hall Letter Shop was a printing and mailing company, even when it wasn’t popular for printing companies to provide mailing services. For 53 years, this company has grown with the community.
Come of the best meats in town, Wood-Dale Market is an old-fashioned meat market that has been fully operating since 1955 off of Stine Road, in between Belle Terrace and Stockdale Highway. Owner Israel Vasquez, who manages to keep that old-fashioned feeling while providing great customer service, has operated Wood-Dale for the past 12 years and previously worked in the grocery industry for over 25 years.
Since 1962, when he opened Robby’s Nursery, Harold E. “Robby” Robinson began making Bakersfield a more beautiful place. Robinson was an independent landscaper when he moved to Bakersfield as a young man and, after establishing an excellent reputation with his services around town, he and his wife, Joan, purchased a nursery located at South H Street and Planz Road.
In September of 1951, a legacy began in Kern County. Under the authority of the Dominican Sisters of Tacoma, Washington, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School opened its doors to children in grades kindergarten through third with the intention of providing quality education while fostering faith in each student.