The Kern River Valley Historical Society has been in operation for over 40 years. Our mission is to preserve and communicate the rich and colorful history of this region. To achieve these goals we have established the Kern Valley Museum in downtown Kernville next to the Post Office.

News Flash

October 28th Membership Meeting Program—Bill & Glenda Rankin 
Bill and Glenda Rankin, 4th generation cattle ranchers from Walker Basin, will share with us a brief history of Rankin Ranch.  In 2013 their family celebrated its 150th anniversary of cattle ranching, and 2015 marks their 50th year of running their guest ranch.  
They plan to tell us how the diversification of their ranch has given their children and grandchildren the opportunity to continue the family ranching tradition.  They will also share some of the challenges and obstacles that face their industry today.  
Fourth and fifth generation Rankins continue to be very involved in the Cattlemen and Cattle Women’s organizations at the local, state and national levels just as their ancestors were.  
Come visit with the Rankins, our neighbors to the south, who established their cattle ranch here in Kern County, California during the years our nation was engaged in the Civil War.
Tuesday, October 28th, 7PM, Senior Center in Isabella.  Bring family and friends. 


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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!