A General Store is where early pioneers would buy clothing, groceries, hardware and tools. This general store was built in the rural town of Woody in 1926. General stores were also important gathering places for the community with the famous “cracker barrel” often serving as a checker board. The store also served as a post office, polling place for elections and delivery point for packages. The store came to the museum in 1957.
Lopez Hill House
Jose Lopez first came to Kern County in 1873 to work with live stock. By 1885 he was the livestock manager for the famous Tejon Ranch. He married Mary Winter and built this house on Chester Avenue in 1903. The house was moved several times until it was donated to the museum by the Hill family in honor of their mother Lois Lavern Hill. It provides a beautiful glimpse into life in the early 20th century.
Set amid 16 beautiful acres, Pioneer Village features over 50 historic structures and exhibits depicting the history and culture of Kern County, California, and the West. Visitors can explore the exhibits and discover the past at their own pace on a self-guided tour in this village-like setting.
Aera Energy Gallery
Enter the Kern County Museum through the Aera Energy Gallery. The welcome center’s exhibit, The History of the Golden Empire, provides an overview of the history of Kern County. Pick up a souvenir at the gift shop, located in the Gallery, on the way out!
Black Gold: The Oil Experience
This exhibition tells the story of oil, from its formation, through its discovery and many extraction techniques, to its ultimate use throughout our lives.
Lori Brock Children's Discovery Center
The Discovery Center provides a special place for children to learn through play. Young visitors can make a masterpiece in Arts Express, be paleontologists in Dino Dig, learn about California power sources in the Power Lab, and explore careers in science, technology, engineering, arts and math in STEAM Town. The center also has special programs and concerts in the Applause! Performing Arts space.
Bakersfield has a sound all its own! This collection features stage costumes, sheet music, instruments and other memorabilia from some of the most influential voices of the era including Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Red Simpson, Bonnie Owens, Fuzzy Owen and many more.
A collection of restored neon signs from Bakersfield’s iconic restaurants, shops and businesses. A remarkable setting for a wedding or event!
The childhood home of country music legend, Merle Haggard. Originally converted in 1935 from a 1910 railroad car refrigerator, this exhibit features heirlooms provided by the Haggard family.
Tejon Ranch Gallery
This Western-inspired gallery features exhibits pertaining to Kern County’s rich and diverse history. Currently on display is a collection of photographs taken in the late 1880s in Kern County by renowned American Landscape photographer, Carleton E. Watkins.
Raymond A. Watson Transportation Exhibit
Enjoy the history of transportation in Kern County with 40 horse-drawn and early motorized vehicles primarily from the estate of Harry West. The vehicles range from stage coaches to simple farm wagons, from early automobiles to early fire and oil delivery trucks.