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…”
It’s no secret that we here in Bakersfield love our local sports teams, and baseball games are definitely one of our favorite pastimes. That being said, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the history of this long love affair surrounding local baseball is, much like the game, nothing short of fun and interesting.
Taking a look around Bakersfield today, you would probably never guess that it was a place that once upon a time had its own National Guard. But it is true. Picture this! A California full of thrills and danger that lurked around every corner!
Oil and trains have been a long-time part of our community, but not many people may recall just how big of a deal it was at the turn of the 20th Century. Imagine people from all over California taking trains and buggy rides out to Kern County specifically to see our oil fields in action! Sounds too incredible to believe? Well, read on and start believing!
It’s true: nothing can get the blood pumping like the feeling of lurking peril! However, that can only really be appreciated until the lurking becomes a reality. Our own firefighters have known about this since they were first on the scene (great fire of 1889, anyone?), and have done everything in their power to keep citizens out of harm’s way. But, like most journeys, that isn’t to say that there weren’t a few blunders here and there.