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

Featured in the Art Gallery
During the month of April:  Ceramics by Helen Smoot and Friends
Helen, a local world renowned concert pianist, will be showing her additional talents of being a ceramist.
She is a prolific potter who also gives ceramic classes as well as her music classes. 
It is such a totally different discipline than studying, teaching and playing music--working with her hands getting all muddy in clay and never knowing what will result is exciting.
Helen will have some students and friends show their work along with her.
A reception will be held Saturday, April 15th 4 to 6 PM.
This is a once in a life time event.
Do come to meet the artists and talk about their work with them. 
We Have a Unique Rifle PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 31 March 2017 20:29

It’s an Old Beat-Up Military Rifle.  We have some items at the Museum that seem to never get noticed...

until we learn more about them. One such item is an old 30-40 Krag Rifle in a display case in the Movie Room. So why is this particular old rusty rifle interesting? It was in the movie, The Real Glory, 1938, staring Gary Cooper and David Niven. This movie was supposed to take place in the Philippines but, in reality, much of it took place right here on the Kern River and the Kern River Valley. There is a scene in the movie that shows the good guys (Filipino soldiers) going down the Kern River on big wooden rafts to save the villagers from an evil cult-like tribe that is trying to enslave them.

One of those rafts hit a partially submerged rock and flipped over spilling out the soldiers into the Kern River along with their rifles they were carrying. One of our local guys, who had the job of helping to carry the rafts up river so that they could go down river in front of the cameras, remembered where the raft flipped over. His name was Bill Burlando.

He and a friend, later after the filming was over and the filming company went home, and the river was lower, went to the crash site and retrieved the rifle. Now you know why the rifle is rusty and beat-up.

Bill Burlando’s entire account of the filming and retrieving is next to the old Krag Rifle in the showcase. Stop by and take a new look. That old beat up rifle has an interesting story to tell. 


---Ron Anderson



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

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New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas.

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