The first aviation meet in the San Joaquin Valley was held at Bakersfield’s Hudnut Field. Charles K. Hamilton flew his Curtiss biplane over the Grandstand to the delight and vociferous applause of 8,000 enthusiastic spectators.
In 1910, the first paved streets appeared in Bakersfield. Not surprisingly, in 1911, the first motorcycle race around China Grade Loop took place. However, paved roads were far from necessary when it came to some of the earliest daredevils in our midst, and those who were a part of the Bakersfield Motorcycle Club—also founded in the early 1900s—have become the stuff of local legend.
Undeniably, Kern County and the railroad have an extensive history together—one that is still appreciated today. (There is good reason why train enthusiasts come from all over to see the Tehachapi Loop.) Sure, we had the Southern Pacific Railroad steaming through our midst, but there was another train that ran a different track; a decidedly smaller one, at that.
It is true that our lovely city has grown quite a bit throughout the years. It has seen swampland turned to farmland that fed the world, and farmland turned to homes that housed generations of families. Along with the transitions, local history was made by the hands of many from all over the United States.
The laying of a cornerstone may not seem like much of an occasion to some, but it only seems fitting that when the Masonic Lodge on 18th Street started the building process, it brought attention far and wide.
Throughout Kern County’s fascinating history, we have certainly had our fair share of enigmatic characters who helped to build the great community that we currently enjoy. These people were not afraid to bring their visions into reality, and they made certain that they helped to better the lives of their fellow neighbors along the way. William H. Scribner was one such pioneer, and from developing the water system in Bakersfield to owning some of the most prominent buildings during his time, his legacy can be appreciated to this day.