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!

The art exhibit at the Kern Valley Museum for September 2018 is entitled, “Veiled Spaces: Non-objective Art and the Conceptual.” Artist David Cook explores the metaphoric and poetic interactions between artist and materials. Rather than creating a “picture,” his images and sculptures demonstrate how concept and process become non-objective art.

David Cook received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies from California State University, Bakersfield. Following two decades as an educator, his focus shifted to creating fine art. His knowledge of art history, theory, and philosophy support his studio work, consisting of contemporary drawing, painting, assemblage, and sculpture.

The public is invited to meet the artist on Saturday, September 8, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Kern Valley Museum.



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!