Destination California: A trip back in time at the Kern County Museum

Destination California

KERN COUNTY, Calif. (KGET) – In this week’s Destination California, it’s a trip back in time.

If you didn’t know – Bakersfield, even Kern County – is home to some rich history, and you can see it all at the Kern County Museum.

The 16-acre property has everything from country music legend Merle Haggard’s childhood home to logging trucks made completely out of wood to statues found buried.

Even the land where the museum sits has a story behind it.

“This was originally a racetrack then it was the fairgrounds. While it was the fairgrounds, they started dragging old buildings up. The old building where my office is was the old chamber of commerce building built in the 1920s and this became a museum in the 1940s. We’ve been a museum here for 75 years,” said Mike McCoy, executive director of the Kern County Museum.

If you’ve never been to the museum, there are plenty of sites to see, but if you’re a regular, you can expect some new additions, including the Watson Transportation Exhibit.

“It’s a 16,000-square-foot building with 50 historical automobiles in it, it is beautiful inside,” McCoy added.

It’s a history lesson for kids and adults, showcasing the beauty and not-so-beautiful times throughout Kern history.

“So many communities have gotten rid of their facilities, you look up and see these chain stores and could be anywhere in the country. These buildings bring back that Kern County is a special place.”

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