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


Art Exhibit!


Showing in the museum for August 2018 is the art of Elissa Beckham.

Beckham is a fun and creative artist in the Kern River Valley. She creates whimsical art for the joyful and light hearted. Beckham loves to create whimsical art with her five beautiful children. She thrives to inspire them to grow to be creative and express themselves through art. Beckahm loves the childlike essence in each watercolor.

There is an innocent poetry to whimsical art. They can tell tales, or they can leave the story-telling up to the viewer. Either way, whimsical art delights and enchants, weaving a charming and spirited path through our imaginations.

Beckham is excited to welcome guests to be delighted at the Kern Valley Art Museum.

The opening reception will be Friday, August 3, 2018, from 4-6 p.m.



Patricia Moitra

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!