Located in Bakersfield, California, the Kern County Museum is dedicated to preserving and promoting the culture and history of Kern County. In 1929, the Bakersfield Lion’s Club published a letter in the local newspaper to urge people within the Kern County community to donate any artifacts or historical materials to the Kern County Chamber of Commerce. Immediately, hundreds of documents, pieces of art, and other artifacts were delivered to the Chamber of Commerce.

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© Kern County Museum

More than ten years later, Kern County officials established the Kern County Museum with the intent to preserve and present anything related and significant to the history and culture of the county. Although most members of the community were excited about the Museum, there were not enough resources to build the Museum’s official building yet. So, the Museum opened to the public within the basement of the Chamber of Commerce.

The Kern County Museum quickly took over the entire building. A few years after it officially opened, the Museum acquired the historic 1868 Barnes family log house, which was located near the Chamber of Commerce. The 1868 Barnes family log house was the Museum’s first outdoor attraction.

Shortly after the Kern County Museum acquired the 1868 Barnes home, the Chamber of Commerce realized they were going to need to move to a new location. So, the Chamber of Commerce moved to a new building in 1952. From then until the late 1990s, the Kern County Museum continued to expand their comprehensive collection. Today, the Kern County Museum is also known as the Kern Pioneer Village.

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© Kern County Museum

The Kern County Museum has various attractions that are dedicated to preserving and promoting the history and significance of Kern County.

Pioneer Village contains over 50 structures and exhibits that are significant to the history and culture of Kern County and the general West. Pioneer Village encompasses approximately 16 acres of land that preserve the traditional way of life within Kern County.

Black Gold: The Oil Experience is a 2.3 acre and 9,640 square foot attraction dedicated to teaching visitors the process of creating and extracting oil. Black Gold: The Oil Experience also provides an in-depth explanation of how the oil industry changed the economy and lives of industry employees throughout history.

Lori Brock Development Center is an interactive attraction where younger visitors have the opportunity to learn about STEM based concepts in a fun and hands-on way.

Neon Courtyard is an extensive collection of iconic neon signs from a variety of stores and restaurants in Bakersfield.

Bakersfield Sound displays a unique collection of artifacts related to the influential artists and music that originated in Bakersfield. Some of the highlighted artists in Bakersfield Sound include Buck Owens and Red Simpson.

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3.Educational Opportunities

Educational Opportunities
© Kern County Museum

The Kern County Museum offers a variety of educational opportunities for people of all ages. These educational opportunities include guided tours, camps, and programs dedicated to engage school aged children.

One of the most popular and general educational opportunities at the Kern County Museum is the guided tour programs. During a guided tour, participants have the opportunity to learn about Kern County in an in-depth and exclusive way. Also, groups can participate in various hands-on activities throughout their guided tour, such as a scavenger hunt.

If schools are interested in participating in a guided tour, they should reserve a spot within the school tour program. While school tours are guided by the same specially trained employees that guide other tours, school tours have the opportunity to participate in special learning lessons and activities that no other visitor has the opportunity to enjoy. Also, teachers can communicate to the Kern County Museum’s employees, so lessons and activities that take place at the Museum can correspond with what is being taught in school.

The last popular educational opportunity at the Kern County Museum is the extensive summer camp program. During the Kern County Museum’s summer camp, participants aged five to twelve can participate in lessons and activities that integrate a variety of subjects. Participants will learn about STEM topics, as well as topics such as history, art, photography, theater, and even cooking. In addition to learning about a variety of topics, campers have the opportunity to explore and learn about the Kern County Museum in an in-depth and exclusive way.

For more information about the guided tours, school field trips, summer camps, or any other educational opportunity at the Kern County Museum, check out the Kern County Museum’s official website, or contact or visit them during their hours of operation.

3801 Chester Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93301, Phone: 661-437-3330

Back to: Things to Do in Bakersfield

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Things to Do in Bakersfield, California: Kern County Museum