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.
Home Keeping Our History Alive
Education Seminar

Kathleen Freeland will be teaching a seminar on Saturday,...

January 13th at 10:30 a.m.

She is a history lecturer at Cal State Bakersfield. She grew up in the Kern River Valley and graduated from Kern Valley High.

Her Master’s Thesis, “Reclamation, Flood Control, and Farming, The Battle Over Isabella Dam,” was chosen as the Outstanding Master’s Thesis in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at CSUB.

When the idea of building a dam on the Kern River began to circulate as early as 1893, there was never any measurable opposition to the idea. Most people recognized that farming in the San Joaquin Valley required a more stable water supply than the unpredictable Kern River could provide.

A prolonged drought from 1917 to 1935 made the need for irrigation storage a priority, but plans for the Kern River shifted to flood control when the region experienced a stretch of uncharacteristically wet years between 1936 and 1943. At the same time, Dust Bowl migrants were settling by the thousands in Kern County.

The dam was finally approved in 1944 as a multi-purpose project centered on flood control, changing the flow of the Kern River forever.

Mark your calendars, Saturday, January 13th, 10:30 AM at the Museum Annex. 

—Erie Johnson



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

Admission is Free

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We are closed:
New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas.

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