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Located in Bakersfield, the Kern County Museum was founded in 1941 and fulfills its mission of providing an enjoyable destination for generations to share experiences in an interactive, educational, and historically rich setting.

It was water, agriculture and oil that brought a steady stream of settlers to the Kern River delta - people drawn by a dream to stake claim to the riches of the Central Valley. Fortunes were made and the city of Bakersfield was born. Today, the people of Kern County honor the vibrant history of its earliest citizens and the Native Americans who shared the land in the Kern County Museum.

For More Information

Kern County Museum
3801 Chester Avenue
Bakersfield, CA 93301
Tel: (661) 852.5000
Fax: (661) 322.6415
Email: caenriquez@kern.org
www.kcmuseum.org
Hours of Operation
10:00 am - 5:00 pm (Mon - Sat)
12:00 N - 5:00 pm (Sun)
Visit website for Admission fees

The museum's rich collection provides a slice of the California story over 16 park-like acres, preserving approximately 700,000 artifacts including 56 historic buildings. The Lori Brock Children's Discovery Center provides a welcome play break for visiting children and their parents. Opened in 1976, the Discovery Center provides educational experiences for visitors ages eight and under.

Perhaps the signature piece is "Black Gold: The Oil Experience," a $4 million science, technology and history exhibition. With Kern County providing 64% of California's oil production, oil production has been a crucial component of the local economy since 1895. More than six years in the making, this state-of-the-art, interactive exhibit opened in 2002. The 9,640-square foot
exhibition and surrounding 2.3 acres presents a complete overview of how oil is created, different methods of discovery and extraction throughout history, and the changing role of industry workers and their families. It is a participatory exhibit, featuring a variety of learning environments for audiences of all ages. Highlights include simulated travel under the sea via diving bell to learn how oil is formed, an exploration into oil discovery, recovery and its transformation into many products we use today, and the many dangers of asphaltum mining - straight from the mouth of an old-timer.

Additional exhibits explore the lifestyle and culture of the local Yokuts Indians through actual artifacts. Historic structures that add to the Kern County Museum's fascinating experience include a circa 1906 Sheepherder's Cabin, a replica of a Chinese temple (paying tribute to the Chinese community, which has been a contributing factor in Bakersfield's growth since its establishment over a century ago), a reconstructed Adobe house, a reconstructed stock corral with original, hand-split Blue Oak rails cut around 1865, and an authentic, one-room schoolhouse built in 1882 and used for more than 30 years.

The Kern County Museum's web site has all the details to help plan a visit;
see the Info Box for the Museum's hours and contact details.

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