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

Travel the History Trail of Highway 178

at the

October 25 meeting of the Historical Society


The historical, technical, social, legal, and geographic history of Highway 178 will amaze you, make your head shake and amuse you!

Highway 178, the most frequently used way to get to the Kern River Valley, has a long, eventful and rich history beginning in about 1834.  

Members of the Kern River Historical Society, who have spent many months researching, will give a  presentation complete with power-point maps, photos, newspaper articles, government reports, and historical articles, complemented with anecdotes from Society members, you will be entertained by the tale of Highway 178, Additional displays of photos and other material that you can browse before and after the program will be available.

To make the evening more fun, members of the society are invited to tell stories of sad, funny and adventurous experiences they have had while traveling on, or trying to travel on, Highway 178 over the years. Three members have volunteered so far.  Wait 'till you hear Marge Power's story! 

If you travel Highway 178, you won't want to miss this program presented by Don Morrison and Jacqueline Morgan.

Tuesday, October 25th, 7 PM at the Senior Center in Lake Isabella. 

Bring your family and friends. 



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