Tree Foundation of Kern

Kern County at a Glance

Kern County originally was the home of peaceful Native Americans.


Commander Don Pedro Fages, a Spanish explorer, named the Valley "Buena Vista" for its good view.



Father Francisco Garces crosses Rio de San Filipe (now called Kern River) and was the first white man to reach the Bakersfield area.



Gold is discovered in the Greenhorn Mountains and white settlers arrive.



Kern County is organized and named after Edward M. Kern, topographer for General John C. Freemont. Minerals (gold, silver, borax, oil, asphalt) and agriculture fuel the rapid development of the County.



Named after Col. Thomas Baker, the City of Bakersfield incorporates.



A big fire demolishes 15 Bakersfield city blocks in just three hours, destroying many historic buildings.



Bakersfield area is rocked by severe earthquake which leaves downtown in ruins.



Two key industries support the county: agriculture and oil. Kern County ranks third among the counties in California and the United States in gross value of farm products. Close to one million acres are harvested annually, for a gross value of almost $2 billion. Two hundred and fifty million barrels of oil are processed annually at a market value of approximately $3 billion.



Population is very diverse, with almost 40% of Hispanic decent. In the next 10 years over 50% of the population will be of Hispanic origin.