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

The art room in the museum will once again showcase a dynamic local photographer.

The Historical Society is very excited to have the work of Jim Steel on loan for the month of April. Jim has titled his show as "Black and White by Design". Black and white photography is really a misnomer. Rarely are photographs purely black and white but rather shades of a single color. Because black and white photography lacks the beautiful colors of nature the photographer must resort to the form, texture, balance and other non-tangible considerations to ensure the subject is displayed how the photographer envisioned.

Jim has lived in the valley for over ten years. He recently retired from Camp Owen where he was an officer. Living in Weldon with his wife Jody and border collie Chloe, Jim now enjoys exploring and photographing our amazing valley. His work is a voyage from simple prints to abstract works of art.

Don't miss this opportunity to travel with Jim on this nostalgic journey.

The museum in Kernville is open Thursday through Sunday 10 AM to 4 PM. Admission is always free, so stop by often.

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!