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


Born in Mulhofen, Germany, Pete Wingender came to the United States in 1959. He married Cassie Lewis in 1958. They moved to the Kern River Valley in 1967.

Pete became an avid outdoorsman and hunter. He can proudly say that he and Cassie have been on almost every mountain top from the mouth of the canyon, through the Kern Plateau, Walker Pass, Eastern Slopes of the Sierra Nevada, and the Mohave Desert.

At the age of 82, Pete became disabled and could no longer engage in his passion of hiking. Not being able to hike or even walk for short distances, frustration developed into depression and boredom. One afternoon Cassie handed him a pencil and told him to draw her a picture. The result was a lovely pencil sketch of a pioneer sod house.

Pete had no formal training. He would like to thank all those who have encouraged and supported him. He truly appreciates the kindness of his friends and supporters and looks forward to the December 10th opening/reception of his show. 


Artist Reception

  Saturday, December 10th at the Museum, 2-4 PM

Refreshments served

Presented by KRVAA

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!




49 Big Blue Road
PO Box 651
Kernville, CA 93238
(760) 376-6683
10 am - 4 pm
Thursday - Sunday

Admission is Free

We are closed:
New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas.

Contact us