Recent Restoration Projects

Kern County Museum Special Projects
2017- Present

batey gardens

Tejon Ranch Gallery

An art/ photo gallery was created in the former gift shop. The $ 150,000 project was supported by Tejon Ranch and completed in the fall of 2017.

Joss House

Thanks to the generosity of Norman Lum and a $7,000 gift, the Joss House was remodeled and 150 year old altar artifacts were added. The Sing Gong Temple was rededicated in October 2017 with the Kern Chinese community.

Standard School

Funded by the Ellen Baker Tracy Guild, the 100 year old school received new interior walls, fresh paint and refinished wood floors in Spring 2018.

Batey Garden

Mrs. Gayle Batey refurbished Batey Gardens in the Spring of 2018 adding $25,000 in new shrubs, landscape material and new concrete borders.

Neon Courtyard Kern County Museum

Band Stand

Adventist Health has brought the popular music center back to life. The $25,000 project was completed in time for the annual Box Car Music Festival April 2018.

Heller House

Heller House: Complete remodel of the historic Heller House for our costume department April 2018. The $30,000 Lowe’s Local Heroes project was completed in four days with 30 volunteers.

Bud and Virginia King Volunteer Center

The Bud and Virginia King Volunteer Center was created in the Summer of  2018 with a restroom, kitchen and lockers compliments of the Lazzerini Family Foundation and Advance Beverage.

Undertaker Exhibit

Thanks to the generosity of Ray Mish and Mission Mortuary, a complete remodel of the Undertaker Parlor in the Summer of 2018. The $4,000 project improved the exhibition of late 19th century funeral practices.

Drug Store

Partners at Kaiser Permanente have made possible a $4,000 remodel of the historic Drug Store building. Project completed in October 2018.

Dust Bowl Exhibit

Two worker housing units from the 1930’s farm labor camps in Shafter and Sunset were restored in the Spring of 2019. The $25,000 project was funded by the EBT Guild.

Metcalf House

Thanks to the Bakersfield Woman’s Club, the $40,000 project has stabilized the foundation, remodeled the porches and added new interior wall surfaces. Completed May 2019

BHS Alumni Plaza

The Bakersfield High School alumni provided funding for a $30,000 plaza for the base of the historic BHS Water Tower. The project was completed in May 2019. Murals were added to the tank in the Spring of 2020 thanks to the Class of 1959. 

Carpenter’s Shop

The 100 year old building received a new coat of interior and exterior paint, roof repair and cleaning in Fall 2019. Funded by the McCoy Family Trust.  

Ray’s Wheel House

 Thanks to support from Ray Watson, a large exhibit hall for 40 historic vehicles was dedicated in March 2020.  With other funding from the Harrell Foundation, the EBT Guild and 40 community donors, the exhibit was a long awaited goal of the museum.  It is estimated the project was a $600,000 investment by the community.


Trolley Car Station

Support from the Arkelian Foundation and West Foundation created a special events venue featuring an early electric street car and the iconic Noriega Hotel Bar. The station was completed in Fall 2019 and the Noriega Bar was installed in the Summer of 2020. The Trolley Car was restored in the Spring of 2021 at a cost of $50,000.

Land Office

The early real estate office received a fresh coat of white paint, a roof coating and new interior flooring thanks to a donation by William Edmonds. Completed in June 2020.

Noriega Hotel Bar

The iconic bar and back bar were moved from its 90 year home on Sumner Street to a new location in the Trolley Car Station in 2020. Funding provided by Mary Trichell, The Wheeler Foundation, Turner Trans Lift and 40 separate community members.

Howell House

Thanks to Boy Scout Troop 44 and Eagle Scout Nathan Van Dyke, exterior improvements including a circular sidewalk were completed in the fall of 2019

Lori Brock

The Discovery Center has been completely reimagined thanks to funding from Chevron, the Wheeler Foundation, the Junior League for a total of $200,000 in improvements:

Arts Express

A lively room for creating junior masterpieces.

Learning Center

Remodeled classroom for large groups and parties.


A recreation of local businesses that employ science, technology and math careers including a café, farm, fire house and bank.

Power Lab

A guided education experience for older children to learn about power generation and energy.

Dino Dig

A hands-on paleontology experience to explore the Mesozoic era.


An outdoor performing arts area for music, theater and dance. Funded by the Wheeler Foundation. Scheduled for the fall of 2020.

Entrance and Exterior Paint

Complete refurbishment of the outside of the facility.


The 100 year old office for the Collections Department had an extensive exterior remodel including paint and woodwork thanks to a grant from the Arkelian Foundation in 2020.

Bena Depot

The full restoration of the Bena Railroad Depot was completed in the Summer of 2020. Thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Wheeler Foundation, the depot received a new coat of exterior paint, a new platform deck, new back porch and interior cleaning.

The Survey Office

The original Miller-Lux civil engineering office was restored in the Fall of 2021 due to the generosity of the Nickel Family. The project will include external and internal paint, flooring, wallpaper, and new signage.

Solar Project

The entire village is now 100% energy independent saving an estimated $150,000 per year in electric costs. All of the panels are hidden to maintain the 1910 visual.

Neon Plaza

20 iconic Kern County neon signs were added to the outdoor plaza adjacent to Watson Transportation Exhibit. Thanks to a gift from the Hinmon Family and the Batey Family, the new Mission Bank Plaza was also expanded in 2021 to support special events.

Warrior Maidens

Four original statues from the 1912 Courthouse were put on display with a custom built cupola. $ 7,500 in funding from the Kern County Bar Association and William Edmonds in the Spring of 2021.

St. John’s Missionary Episcopal Church

Thanks to a donation from Ernie and Joellyn Schroeder, the 1895 church had its exterior painted the iconic red in November 2021. Additional improvements call for freshening up the interior, a new landscape design and celebration patio in the rear of the church.

Fairhaven Pump House

The Schroeder Family supported the exterior paint and carpentry repair of the 1920 irrigation house from Fairhaven Drive in the Spring of 2022.

The Bakersfield Sound

Supported by a grant from the California Dept. of Natural Resources and other local funders, Kern’s honky tonk legacy is celebrated in a new stand-alone $80,000 exhibit that features costumes, musical instruments, and architectural elements. Slated to open in Spring 2022.

The Yokut Tejon Education Center

A new building supports Native American education for the estimated 20,000 school-age visitors who annually visit the museum on school tours. Funded by a grant from the Estate of Bill and Claire Hanson, the Wheeler Foundation, the Virginia and Alfred Harrell Foundation, and the Trichell Foundation. The Center will open in the Fall of 2022.

French Bakery

The 1910 bakery, originally from East 21st Street, will be completely refurbished and returned to its original appearance. $25,000 in support from the Ellen Baker Tracy Guild is making this project a reality in the Spring of 2022.

The Sheep Camp

The Sheep Camp exhibit celebrates the Basque shepherds who would drive thousands of sheep into the Sierras for summer grazing. Project support from Hay Brothers Sheep Company, the Etcheverrey Family and Mark Parsons.

Village Restroom

Thanks to the Ellen Baker Tracy Guild, our Village Restroom has been remodeled to be ADA accessible and has a change table. 

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