The Kern River Valley Historical Society is celebrating over 50 years of operation! Our mission is to preserve and communicate the rich and colorful history of this region. The Kern Valley Museum in downtown Kernville, next to the Post Office, welcomes visitors to explore our rich history.

What's Happening



Showing in the Kern Valley Museum from October 14 to November 18 is the artwork of Chris Quinnert. Chris has been painting “Space Art” for 40 years and photography of the area for just as many.

“In 1973 I was given a small telescope. My interest blossomed into the stars, galaxies, planets and the moon. I then began to paint ‘Space Art’ in acrylics. It can border on fantasy art as well,” said Quinnert.

“My landscape paintings are in oil, inspired by the Hudson School of the northeast U.S. area. These paintings range from 1800-1880. They portray a natural viewing and seeing, being immersed in nature itself.

“The photography came about by hiking around our local area in meadows, creeks, with a camera in hand, this being a 35mm camera.

The prints of these I use for inspiration for my paintings.” Reception will be held at the museum on October 20, 4-6 p.m. Do come to meet and talk with the artist.

There will be a change in the length of hanging times. In the future, some art shows will be showing for 6 weeks. It takes a lot of effort and cost for an artist to hang a show, so it seems only reasonable to let the artist’s work be on view for 24 days instead of 16 days. Therefore, David Cook’s show will be continued until October 14. 

2018 Whiskey Flat Parade

The Kern Valley Museum houses artifacts from prehistoric times to the present.  We have a large geological and fossil exhibit, mining and ranching artifacts, an interactive history of the Edison hydroelectric plants, exhibits of the movie-making history of the area and construction of the Isabella Dam.

There are thousands of photographs of the early settlers, miners, cowboys and Indians.

Our wonderful back porch and yard are home for a 1925 Graham Truck, covered wagon and the Stagecoach John Wayne rode while filming scenes of “Stagecoach” in our Valley.

We also have a giant stamp mill used to render gold-bearing ore to powder, a working assay office, blacksmith shop and a restored and furnished 100 year old cabin.

In the 1850’s, Gold Fever gripped the nation. The Kern River Valley was part of the gold rush that spurred the westward migration of fortune seekers who became ranchers, farmers and merchants when the gold played out.

The Museum stands rich in history.  Come and discover the treasures it holds!