Kern Valley Museum



I visited the Kern Valley Museum in Kernville, CA in the late spring of 2015. I was impressed!

Other small town history museums I’ve visited (I’m looking at you, Truth or Consequences, NM and Quartzsite, AZ) have been jumbled, hodge- podge messes, filled with any (literally) old thing with little-to-no explanation of historical context. The museum in T or C is huge and rambling, with so much (too much) to see and difficult (both physically and mentally) to read explanation cards. Quartzsite’s museum is smaller and more cluttered with even less explanation of why objects are on display.

The Kern Valley Museum has none of those problems. Housed in a former doctor’s office, the museum staff has arranged similar items in displays in the former exam rooms. Visitors can spend time in one room with photos and artifacts from the various movies filmed in the region, while in other areas folks can learn about local money-making endeavors such as mining and ranching. The museum is very clean, and exhibits are well-lit, with brief and easy to read explanatory notes.

In the museum’s backyard, larger items are on display.

One cool item in the back area is a reconstructed covered wagon originally from pioneer days. It was brought from Missouri, over the Oregon Trail, in 1850. Between 1998 and 2000, it was restored from a pile of lumber, a box of hardware, and some wheel hubs.


This is the covered wagon at the Kern Valley Museum




This is the front view of the covered wagon at the Kern Valley Museum. I love the suitcase on the lower right.


This is the rear view of the covered wagon at the Kern Valley Museum. It makes my van look so comfy and spacious. Can you imagine riding in such a wagon from Missouri to the West Coast?












A horse-drawn carriage is also on display.



There is gold mining equipment in the back area as well.




A small room is set up to look like a blacksmith’s shop. Since my great-grandfather was a blacksmith, I was interested in the equipment on display.


There’s a small cabin behind the museum too. If I remember correctly, the cabin was moved from its original location to the museum in Kernville. I don’t recall if the furnishing were pieces originally from the cabin or historically accurate items that came from elsewhere. The museum’s website calls it “a restored and furnished 110 year old cabin…”


Self-portrait in cabin's mirror.

Self-portrait in cabin’s mirror.


Cabin’s kitchen area.


Cabin’s sleeping area. I love the quilt.








I enjoyed exploring the Kern Valley Museum and recommend it as an educational stopping point for any visitors to Kernville.

If you enjoyed this post, you might like to read about my visit to the nearby Old Kernville Cemetery.

All photos in this post were taken by me.

About Blaize Sun

My name is Blaize Sun. Maybe that's the name my family gave me; maybe it's not. In any case, that's the name I'm using here and now. I've been a rubber tramp for nearly a decade.I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. For most of my years on the road, my primary residence was my van. For almost half of the time I was a van dweller, I was going it alone. Now I have a little travel trailer parked in a small RV park in a small desert town. I also have a minivan to travel in. When it gets too hot for me in my desert, I get in my minivan and move up in elevation to find cooler temperatures or I house sit in town in a place with air conditioning I was a work camper in a remote National Forest recreation area on a mountain for four seasons. I was a camp host and parking lot attendant for two seasons and wrote a book about my experiences called Confessions of a Work Camper: Tales from the Woods. During the last two seasons as a work camper on that mountain, I was a clerk in a campground store. I'm also a house and pet sitter, and I pick up odd jobs when I can. I'm primarily a writer, but I also create beautiful little collages; hand make hemp jewelry and warm, colorful winter hats; and use my creative and artistic skills to decorate my life and brighten the lives of others. My goal (for my writing and my life) is to be real. I don't like fake, and I don't want to share fake. I want to share my authentic thoughts and feelings. I want to give others space and permission to share their authentic selves. Sometimes I think the best way to support others is to leave them alone and allow them to be. I am more than just a rubber tramp artist. I'm fat. I'm funny. I'm flawed. I try to be kind. I'm often grouchy. I am awed by the stars in the dark desert night. I hope my writing moves people. If my writing makes someone laugh or cry or feel angry or happy or troubled or comforted, I have done my job. If my writing makes someone think and question and try a little harder, I've done my job. If my writing opens a door for someone, changes a life, I have done my job well. I hope you enjoy my blog posts, my word and pictures, the work I've done to express myself in a way others will understand. I hope you appreciate the time and energy I put into each post. I hope you will click the like button each time you like what you have read. I hope you will share posts with the people in your life. I hope you'll leave a comment and share your authentic self with me and this blog's other readers. Thank you for reading.  A writer without readers is very sad indeed.

3 Responses »

    • My father’s mother’s father. My father’s father’s mother died when he (the father’s father) was young, and all the kids were farmed out to other relatives. I don’t know if my father knows what kind of work his father’s father did. The blacksmith grandfather died when my father was 12 and my father had to spend nights at his grandmother’s house to keep her company and protect her, I guess. That’s when he learned to speak French because his grandmother did not speak English.

      Or at least that’s how I remember it all. I sent all my genealogy information to my nephew a few years ago.

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