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


General Membership Meeting

Join us Tuesday, January 23rd, 7:00 PM at the Senior Center in Lake Isabella.  Our guest speaker is Robert Kilgore ...

Mr. Kilgore is excited to be a speaker at the Kern River Valley Historical Society this month and will give a presentation regarding not only the history of Camp Owen, but also an overview of the current program for the youth it serves.

Camp Erwin Owen is an honor and work camp, and it holds true to that tradition today, as staff and allied agencies provide services which promote discipline, a strong work ethic and individual responsibility.

Founded in 1938 and named for Superior Court Judge Erwin Owen, Camp Owen began with the acquisition of approximately fifty-six acres on a special use permit from the United States Forest Service. 


Read More ...

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!