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 in FEBRUARY 2020





All residents and Museum fans deserve to be very proud !



California State Library

California History Room

June 17, 2019


Dear Ron Anderson,

Greetings from the California State Library. We are writing to express our heartfelt thanks for all of your hard work for California in general and for Kern County in particular. Without the efforts of organizations such as the Kern Valley Museum, local residents would lack a sense of community and shared past.

In the spirit of celebrating a job well done, we have selected Kern County as the California History Section’s County of the Month, featuring your organization in the accompanying documentation. This distinction highlights organizations involved in local cultural preservation and outreach, as well as the varied local history resources available to researchers at the State Library.

If you wish to see the documentation for these acknowledgements and others, it is available on this website: Thank you again for all of your hard work.



Elena Smith, Librarian

California History Room

California State Library




Visit the Museum's Gift Shop for unique shopping.  You won't see these treasures avaiilable anywhere else. More photos at the link at the top of page.

A tiny part of the Gift Shop's selections, which include books on the area, maps, western wear and accessories, hats of all kinds, exquisite handmade baskets, jewelry, survival kits in a sardine can, many more too numerous to list 




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!