Kern River Valley

Historical Society

Inside Exhibits

Our exhibits describe all aspects of life beginning before recorded time, when much of the area was under sea waters.

  • We have exhibits depicting the Native Americans who moved about this area for thousands of years before white settlers arrived.
  • There are artifacts of Gold Rush era settlements and their inhabitants, whch define the everyday life of these determined dreamers who followed the lure of precious metals.
  • We also have exhibits that document the development of a more permanent population of Farmers, Ranchers, Cowboys, Chinese and Merchants who came, building homes and raising families.
  • The Kern River Valley's rich Movie History is also on display.
  • As the Valley began to develop, the Forest Service and Southern California Edison played a big role.  We have displays on these developments.

As you walk through our Museum and backyard, you will develop a clearer picture of these hard-working hearty people - who they were, how they lived, worked, and played in this beautiful and naturally diverse area.

prehistory Exhibit


You'll see fossil remains which were found in or near the Kern River Valley. We are careful to make sure that our displays are from this area or are of significance to the area.

Native American Exhibit

Native American

The Museum displays objects used by the first known inhabitants of the area, the Tubatalabal, whose descendants live here today.

Gold Mining Exhibit

Gold Mining

It was the lure of gold which brought the first white settlers to the Kern River Valley in about 1853. These exhibits cover the early years of the valley when mining was king.

lumbering Exhibit


The Museum contains representative tools of the lumber industry and many photographs of the logging and milling of the timber grown here.

Farm and Ranch Exhibit

Farm & Ranch

Many early farmers ranchers, as well as cowboys, settled here. We display significant items of early-day ranching including brands, blacksmithing tools, and barbed wire.

Edison Company Exhibit

Edison Company

The Kern River was used as an early source for generating electricity. Construction started in 1902, at the base of the Kern Canyon, on Powerhouse #1.

Mineral and Gem Exhibit

Minerals & Gems

Viewing the excellent display of geological wonders could inspire a whole new generation of rock hounds.

Map Room Exhibit

Map Room

Many old and new maps are hung for viewing. A huge map of the entire Kern River drainage is most interesting, made from an actual satellite photo from space.

Western Films Exhibit

Western Movies

Many famous western movies produced in the 1930's, 40's, and 50's were filmed in the Kern River Valley. Actors included: John Wayne, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and more!

Art gallery Exhibit

Art Gallery

The art on display in this room is by local artists. Most of the art here is for sale. A different artist is featured each month.

Forestry Service Exhibit

Forest Service

The Forest Service has been in the Kern River Valley area since its inception. On display is a phone system that was installed in the lower end of the Sequoia Forest in 1916.

1900's General Store Exhibit

General Store

There were several merchants in the area who contributed to life in the Valley. Artifacts from these businesses abound.

Home Life Exhibit

Home Life

Household chores in the early 1900’s pretty much took all day, and family entertainment was simple—music, games and books.

Gun Exhibit

Gun Display

Featuring guns from the local area. Notable weapons include a 55 caliber black powder rifle, and pistols - many come with intriguing stories!

Country Store Gift Shop

Country Store

Our gift shop is a major source of income for the Historical Society. We have a wonderful variety of gifts, books and DVD’s.