State highways in California
The state highway system of the U. S. state of California is a network of highways that are owned and maintained by the Highway Division of the California Department of Transportation. Each highway is assigned a Route number in the Streets and Highways Code. Most of these are numbered in a statewide system, are known as State Route X. United States Numbered Highways are labeled US X, Interstate Highways are Interstate X. Under the code, the state assigns a unique Route X to each highway, does not differentiate between state, US, or Interstate highways; the California Highway Patrol is tasked with patrolling all state highways to enforce traffic laws. California's highway system is governed pursuant to Division 1 of the California Streets and Highways Code. Since July 1 of 1964, the majority of legislative route numbers, those defined in the Streets and Highways Code, match the sign route numbers. For example, Interstate 5 is listed as "Route 5" in the code. On the other hand, some short routes are instead signed as parts of other routes — for instance, Route 112 and Route 260 are signed as part of the longer State Route 61, Route 51 is part of Interstate 80 Business.
Concurrences are not explicitly codified in the Streets and Highways Code. The state may turn them over to local control. If the relinquished segment is in the middle of the highway's route, the local jurisdiction is required to install and maintain signs directing drivers to the continuation of that highway; the state may delete a highway and turn over an entire state route to local control. Business routes are not maintained by the state unless they are assigned legislative route numbers. A few routes or sections of routes are considered unrelinquished - a new alignment has been built, or the legislative definition has changed to omit the section, but the state still maintains the roadway — and are Route XU. There are two such unrelinqushed routes, with State Route 14U, an old alignment of State Route 14, as the most recent example of such, where the process to relinquish 14U started on January 1 of 2018, along with State Route 103U being the other unrelinquished route within the system; some new alignments are considered supplemental and have a suffix of S.
Both types of suffixed routes are considered spurs. Current or former unsigned suffixed routes include State Route 156U, signed as State Route 156 Business through Hollister, State Route 180S, the freeway replacement for State Route 180 in Fresno; the first legislative routes were defined by the State Highway Bond Act in 1909, passed by the California State Legislature and signed by Governor James Gillett. These, extensions to the system, were numbered sequentially. No signs were erected for these routes; the United States Numbered Highways were assigned by the American Association of State Highway Officials in November 1926, but posting did not begin in California until January 1928. These were assigned to some of the main legislative routes in California. Signs were posted by the Automobile Club of Southern California and California State Automobile Association, active in signing national auto trails and local roads since the mid-1900s. In 1934, after the major expansion of the state highway system in 1933 by the California Legislature, California sign route numbers were assigned by the California Division of Highways.
The California sign route numbers were assigned in a geographical system independent of the legislative routes. Odd-numbered routes ran north–south and even-numbered routes ran east–west; the routes were split among southern California and central and northern California as follows: 0 or 1 modulo 4: central and northern California 2 or 3 modulo 4: southern CaliforniaFor instance, State Route 1 and State Route 4 were in central and northern California, State Route 2 and State Route 3 were in southern California. A rough grid was used inside the two regions, with the largest numbers — all less than 200 - in eastern California and near the border between the two regions; the Interstate Highway System numbers were assigned by AASHO in late 1959. In 1963 and 1964, a total renumbering of the legislative routes was made, aligning them with the sign routes; some changes were made to the sign routes related to decommissionings of U. S. Routes in favor of Interstates. Since the 1990s, many non-freeway routes in urban areas, have been deleted and turned over to local control.
This transfers the cost of maintaining them from state to local budgets, but gives local governments direct control over urban arterial roads th
California Department of Transportation
The California Department of Transportation is an executive department of the US state of California. The department is part of the cabinet-level California State Transportation Agency. Caltrans is headquartered in Sacramento. Caltrans manages the state's highway system, which includes the California Freeway and Expressway System, is involved with public transportation systems throughout the state, it supports Amtrak's Capitol Corridor. In 2015, Caltrans released a new mission statement: "Provide a safe, sustainable and efficient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability." The earliest predecessor of Caltrans was the Bureau of Highways, created by the California Legislature and signed into law by Governor James Budd in 1895. This agency consisted of three commissioners who were charged with analyzing the state road system and making recommendations. At the time, there was no state highway system. California's roads consisted of crude dirt roads maintained by county governments, as well as some paved roads within city boundaries, this ad hoc system was no longer adequate for the needs of the state's growing population.
After the commissioners submitted their report to the governor on November 25, 1896, the legislature replaced the Bureau with the Department of Highways. Due to the state's weak fiscal condition and corrupt politics, little progress was made until 1907, when the legislature replaced the Department of Highways with the Department of Engineering, within which there was a Division of Highways. California voters approved an US$18 million bond issue for the construction of a state highway system in 1910, the first California Highway Commission was convened in 1911. On August 7, 1912, the department broke ground on its first construction project, the section of El Camino Real between South San Francisco and Burlingame, which became part of California State Route 82; the year 1912 saw the founding of the Transportation Laboratory and the creation of seven administrative divisions, which are the predecessors of the 12 district offices in use as of 2018. The original seven division headquarters were located in: Willits Mercantile Building for Del Norte, Humboldt and Mendocino counties Redding C.
R. Briggs Building for Lassen, Shasta, Siskiyou and Trinity counties Sacramento Forum Building for Alpine, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Plumas, San Joaquin, Solano, Sutter, Tuolumne and Yuba counties San Francisco Rialto Building for Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Sonoma counties San Luis Obispo Union National Bank Building for Monterey, San Benito, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo counties Fresno Forsythe Building for Fresno, Kern, Madera, Merced and Tulare counties Los Angeles Union Oil Building for Imperial, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Ventura countiesIn 1913, the California State Legislature began requiring vehicle registration and allocated the resulting funds to support regular highway maintenance. In 1921, the state legislature turned the Department of Engineering into the Department of Public Works; the history of Caltrans and its predecessor agencies during the 20th century was marked by many firsts. It was one of the first agencies in the United States to paint centerlines on highways statewide.
In late 1972, the legislature approved a reorganization, suggested by a study initiated by then-Governor Ronald Reagan, in which the Department of Public Works was merged with the Department of Aeronautics to become the modern California Department of Transportation. For administrative purposes, Caltrans divides the State of California into 12 districts, supervised by district offices. Most districts cover multiple counties; the largest districts by population are District 4 and District 7. Like most state agencies, Caltrans maintains its headquarters in Sacramento, covered by District 3. Transportation in California State highways in California United States Department of Transportation List of roads and highways Official website Named Highways, Freeways and Other Appurtenances in California
The BNSF Railway Company is the largest freight railroad network in North America. One of eight North American Class I railroads, BNSF has 44,000 employees, 32,500 miles of track in 28 states, more than 8,000 locomotives, it has three transcontinental routes that provide rail connections between the western and eastern United States. BNSF trains traveled over 169 million miles in 2010, more than any other North American railroad; the BNSF and Union Pacific have a duopoly on all transcontinental freight rail lines in the Western U. S. and share trackage rights over thousands of miles of track. The BNSF Railway Company is the principal operating subsidiary of parent company Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC. Headquartered in Fort Worth, the railroad's parent company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. According to corporate press releases, the BNSF Railway is among the top transporters of intermodal freight in North America, it hauls bulk cargo, including enough coal to generate around ten per cent of the electricity produced in the United States.
The creation of BNSF started with the formation of a holding company on September 22, 1995. This new holding company purchased the Atchison and Santa Fe Railway and Burlington Northern Railroad, formally merged the railways into the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway on December 31, 1996. On January 24, 2005, the railroad's name was changed to BNSF Railway Company using the initials of its original name. On November 3, 2009, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway announced it would acquire the remaining 77.4 percent of BNSF it did not own for $100 per share in cash and stock — a deal valued at $44 billion. The company is acquiring $10 billion in debt. On February 12, 2010, shareholders of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation voted in favor of the acquisition. BNSF's history dates back to 1849, when the Aurora Branch Railroad in Illinois and the Pacific Railroad of Missouri were formed; the Aurora Branch grew into the Chicago and Quincy Railroad, a major component of successor Burlington Northern.
A portion of the Pacific Railroad became the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway; the Atchison and Santa Fe Railway was chartered in 1859. It built one of the first transcontinental railroads in North America, linking Chicago and Southern California; the Interstate Commerce Commission denied a proposed merger with the Southern Pacific Transportation Company in the 1980s. The Burlington Northern Railroad was created in 1970 through the consolidation of the Chicago and Quincy Railroad, the Great Northern Railway, the Northern Pacific Railway and the Spokane and Seattle Railway, it absorbed the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway in 1980, its main lines included Chicago-Seattle with branches to Texas and Montgomery and access to the low-sulfur coal of Wyoming's Powder River Basin. On June 30, 1994, BN and ATSF announced plans to merge. S. Class I railroads; the long-rumored announcement was delayed by a disagreement over the disposition of Santa Fe Pacific Gold Corporation, a gold mining subsidiary that ATSF agreed to sell to stockholders.
This announcement began the next wave of mergers, as the "Super Seven" were merged down to four in the next five years. The Illinois Central Railroad and Kansas City Southern Railway, two of the five "small" Class Is, announced on July 19 that the former would buy the latter, but this plan was called off on October 25; the Union Pacific Railroad, another major Western system, started a bidding war with BN for control of the SF on October 5. The UP gave up on January 1995, paving the way for the BN-ATSF merger. Subsequently, the UP acquired the Southern Pacific Transportation Company in 1996, Eastern systems CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway split Conrail in 1999. On February 7, 1995, BN and ATSF heads Gerald Grinstein and Robert D. Krebs both announced shareholders had approved the plan, which would save overhead costs and combine BN's coal and ATSF's intermodal strengths. Although the two systems complemented each other with little overlap, in contrast to the Santa Fe-Southern Pacific merger, which failed because it would have eliminated competition in many areas of the Southwest, BN and ATSF came to agreements with most other Class Is to keep them from opposing the merger.
UP was satisfied with a single segment of trackage rights from Abilene, Kansas to Superior, which BN and ATSF had both served. KCS gained haulage rights to several Midwest locations, including Omaha, East St. Louis, Memphis, in exchange for BNSF getting similar access to New Orleans. SP requesting far-reaching trackage rights throughout the West, soon agreed on a reduced plan, whereby SP acquired trackage rights on ATSF for intermodal and automotive traffic to Chicago, other trackage rights on ATSF in Kansas, south to Texas, between Colorado and Texas. In exchange, SP assigned BNSF trackage rights over the former Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad between El Paso and Topeka and haulage rights to the Mexican border at Eagle Pass, Texas. Regional Toledo and Western Railway obtained trackage rights over BN from Peoria to Galesburg, Illinois, a BN hub where it could interchange with SP; the Interstate Commerce Commission approved the BNSF merger on July 20, 1995, less than a month before UP announced on August
Taft is a city in the foothills at the extreme southwestern edge of the San Joaquin Valley, in Kern County, California. Taft is located 32 miles west-southwest of Bakersfield, at an elevation of 955 feet; the population was 9,327 at the 2010 census. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.1 square miles. It was named for President William H. Taft in 1909; the town began as Siding Number Two on the Sunset Railroad. According to a display at the West Kern Oil Museum, local residents asked the Southern Pacific Railroad if the station could be named Moro when the rails arrived in about 1900, but a railroad official declined because the name would be too confused with the coastal town of Morro Bay. Instead, the railroad directed the station be called Moron, a word which as yet had no association with stupidity. Pictures of local businesses, including the Moron Pharmacy, hang in the museum. After a fire burned much of the town, the name was changed to Taft in honor of William Howard Taft.
Taft was once a sundown town. Taft is situated in a major petroleum and natural gas production region in California, is one of the few remaining towns in the United States which exist because of nearby oil reserves; the discovery of oil in the region occurred in the late 19th century near Maricopa, seven miles south of Taft. Many other oil and gas accumulations were discovered around Taft during the early-to-mid-20th century, notably the Midway field, Sunset field, the Buena Vista; the town is built directly between these two huge fields. The operational activities within these fields, as well as Occidental Petroleum's Elk Hills Oil Field north of Taft, have been the economic lifeblood of the town for over 100 years; the super-giant Midway-Sunset field has produced 2,800,000,000 barrels of crude oil, most of it heavy gravity. Enhanced oil recovery operations in the form of steam production and injection have been used on the thick viscous crude oil of the Midway-Sunset field since the mid-to-late-1960s.
The reservoirs of the Midway-Sunset field are composited layers of unconsolidated sandstones of late Miocene age, shallowly buried. The shallow burial depth and ideal nature of the sandstones make them perfectly suited for steam injection; as a result, the amount of oil that can be recovered has increased. Standard Oil the Standard Oil Company of California, made Taft its corporate operational headquarters. At one time it is reported; the hub of this activity was "11-C Camp", so named due to its township location in section 11 and designated "township C" by Standard's mapping department. Within the camp was everything imaginable to run a large oil and gas company: a rail spur from the line running through Taft and timber for derrick construction and maintenance, valves, numerous offices, an expansive and specialized machine shop, a plethora of supply shops, the car and truck fleet, bunkhouses for workers, dozens of company homes for employees. In its heyday, 11-C camp sported nice facilities.
The huge complex closed down over a period of many years. In 1968 Standard Oil of California moved its finance offices to Concord, California. In the late 1980s the machine shop was auctioned, signaling the end of the 11-C Camp era. Many other oil companies had operations in the area, including larger companies such as Shell, Exxon, Gulf, ARCO, as well as smaller operations such as Santa Fe Energy, Berry Petroleum, Tannehill, M. H. Whittier, Plains Exploration & Production. In the mid-1990s, according to California's Division of Oil and Geothermal Resources, there were 68 operating companies working the Midway-Sunset field alone. While the names of most of these companies have changed, due to mergers and liquidations, the production activities have been continuous. In celebration of its oil heritage, Taft holds its "Oildorado" festival every five years. Oildorado was held intermittently before then. In the early days of oil exploration and production, long before the advent of modern blowout preventions, gushers were the norm.
Although there were many, the Lakeview Gusher gushed more than any, producing 100,000 barrels of oil per day at its peak. In all, the Lakeview No.1 produced about nine million barrels of oil. The well and its State historical marker can be found along the Petroleum Club road, just off SR 33 south of town. Taft was the site of a military airfield, Gardner Field, used to train pilots during World War II. After the base was closed, its abandoned airstrip served as a clandestine dragstrip for many years. Today, the railroad—originally built to export crude oil and import drinking water—is gone, but the area still has a significant oil industry presence. A private prison, operated by Management & Training Corporation under contract to the U. S. Bureau of Prisons, is located on Cadet Road south of town. There is a modern high school serving area students; the West Kern Oil Museum, at 1168
California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U. S. the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento; the Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second and fifth most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, the country's second most populous, after New York City. California has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, its largest county by area, San Bernardino County; the City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. California's $3.0 trillion economy is larger than that of any other state, larger than those of Texas and Florida combined, the largest sub-national economy in the world. If it were a country, California would be the 5th largest economy in the world, the 36th most populous as of 2017.
The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and third-largest urban economies, after the New York metropolitan area. The San Francisco Bay Area PSA had the nation's highest GDP per capita in 2017 among large PSAs, is home to three of the world's ten largest companies by market capitalization and four of the world's ten richest people. California is considered a global trendsetter in popular culture, innovation and politics, it is considered the origin of the American film industry, the hippie counterculture, fast food, the Internet, the personal computer, among others. The San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area are seen as global centers of the technology and entertainment industries, respectively. California has a diverse economy: 58% of the state's economy is centered on finance, real estate services and professional, scientific and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5% of the state's economy, California's agriculture industry has the highest output of any U.
S. state. California is bordered by Oregon to the north and Arizona to the east, the Mexican state of Baja California to the south; the state's diverse geography ranges from the Pacific Coast in the west to the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the east, from the redwood–Douglas fir forests in the northwest to the Mojave Desert in the southeast. The Central Valley, a major agricultural area, dominates the state's center. Although California is well-known for its warm Mediterranean climate, the large size of the state results in climates that vary from moist temperate rainforest in the north to arid desert in the interior, as well as snowy alpine in the mountains. Over time and wildfires have become more pervasive features. What is now California was first settled by various Native Californian tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries; the Spanish Empire claimed it as part of Alta California in their New Spain colony. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its successful war for independence but was ceded to the United States in 1848 after the Mexican–American War.
The western portion of Alta California was organized and admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850. The California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale emigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom; the word California referred to the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico. The name derived from the mythical island California in the fictional story of Queen Calafia, as recorded in a 1510 work The Adventures of Esplandián by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo; this work was the fifth in a popular Spanish chivalric romance series that began with Amadis de Gaula. Queen Calafia's kingdom was said to be a remote land rich in gold and pearls, inhabited by beautiful black women who wore gold armor and lived like Amazons, as well as griffins and other strange beasts. In the fictional paradise, the ruler Queen Calafia fought alongside Muslims and her name may have been chosen to echo the title of a Muslim leader, the Caliph. It's possible.
Know ye that at the right hand of the Indies there is an island called California close to that part of the Terrestrial Paradise, inhabited by black women without a single man among them, they lived in the manner of Amazons. They were robust of body with great virtue; the island itself is one of the wildest in the world on account of the craggy rocks. Shortened forms of the state's name include CA, Cal. Calif. and US-CA. Settled by successive waves of arrivals during the last 10,000 years, California was one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse areas in pre-Columbian North America. Various estimates of the native population range from 100,000 to 300,000; the Indigenous peoples of California included more than 70 distinct groups of Native Americans, ranging from large, settled populations living on the coast to groups in the interior. California groups were diverse in their political organization with bands, villages, on the resource-rich coasts, large chiefdoms, such as the Chumash and Salinan.
Trade, intermarriage a
Shafter is a city in Kern County, United States. It is located 18 miles west-northwest of Bakersfield; the population was 16,988 at the 2010 census, up from 12,736 at the 2000 census. The city is located along State Route 43. Suburbs of Shafter include Myricks Corner, North Shafter, Smith's Corner, Thomas Lane; the city of Shafter began as a loading dock along the Santa Fe Railroad right-of-way. The community was named for General William Rufus Shafter who commanded US Forces in Cuba during the Spanish–American War. Property was sold beginning in 1914 and the city incorporated in 1938; the first post office opened in 1898, moved in 1902, closed in 1905. A new postal service started in 1914. Of historical note, Shafter is home to Minter Field, which began operations in June 1941 and saw heavy use during World War II. 7,000 troops were stationed at the airstrip which hosted up to 600 prisoners of war as well. Today it is publicly owned and administered by the Minter Field Airport District and serves as an industrial center and airport for crop dusters and private aircraft.
The Minter Field Museum is maintained on location as well. The first successful human powered airplane, the Gossamer Condor, piloted by Bryan Allen won the Kremer prize on August 23, 1977 at Shafter's Minter Field. Allen piloted, powered, the Paul MacCready designed airplane along the one mile long figure'8' course with two 10 foot high obstacles as specified by the Royal Aeronautical Society to claim the £50,000 prize. A California State Monument is located at the field for this event; the Shafter Historical Society maintains two other museums. The Green Hotel and the Shafter Depot Museum emphasize various aspects of the daily lives of Shafter residents in years past. In 2009, a Shafter High School senior, Anna Jelmini, received the key to the city for placing in the Junior Olympics, she fell just short of meeting the standards for the 2008 Olympics. In 2013 Shafter celebrated the 100 year anniversary of its founding; the Centennial Celebration included several events highlighting the history of the town, including a flyover of a PT-13 Training Plane, stationed at Minter Field during World War II.
Much of Shafter's economy has been based on agriculture and ag-related industry. Local crops include almonds, cotton and alfalfa as well as some carrots and other vegetables. Cotton and potatoes have a special historical significance for the town of Shafter as leading industries in different periods of the town's development. More Shafter has become a hub for a variety of economic endeavors including. Shafter is home to the Paramount Logistics Park, built to facilitate Central Valley access to ports in Long Beach and Los Angeles via the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway. Shafter will continue to grow economically as the PLP builds out. Ross Dress for Less announced its plans to move into the PLP in 2013. American Tire Distributors signed a 20-year lease with Roll Real Estate to lease over 1 million square feet of distribution space; the tire and wheel distributor has begun working out of a portion of the space as of Summer 2014, while the rest continues to be built out. One reason for the growth of the Paramount Logistics Park Shafter is the City of Shafter’s Rail Facility.
The Facility has more than 10,000 feet of track owned by the City of Shafter and operated by the Public Works Department. It connects the BNSF rail line to tenants in the Paramount Logistics Park; this is the only rail served industrial park in the San Joaquin Valley. The City of Shafter reopened the Shafter Modified Community Correctional Facility in 2013 after a two-year closure. Profits from the facility directly benefit public safety initiatives and the Shafter Education Partnership, focused on early literacy and college readiness. In 2006 the City of Shafter began construction on a 25-mile fiber-optic backbone ring; the City operates a 10 Gbit/s Ethernet network over the Shafter Connect network with near-zero unscheduled downtime since the network inception in 2007. The installed infrastructure will support faster speeds as technology standardizes; the network serves several areas of the city including: Shafter Core – Downtown municipal and law enforcement facilities. Minter Field Airport and Industrial Park development near Highway 99 and Lerdo Hwy.
Paramount Logistics Park at 7th Standard Road and Zachary Ave. Future Residential/Commercial developments along 7th Standard Road between Calloway Drive and Zerker Road; the City of Shafter is the only municipality in the Central Valley that offers fiber-optic connections. Shafter is home to the Richland School District which oversees operation of four schools: Golden Oak Elementary School, Redwood Elementary School, Sequoia Elementary School and Richland Junior High School; the district operates under the leadership of superintendent Mrs. Raquel Posadas-Gonzalez. Class sizes in grades K-3 average grades 4-8 average 30 students; the district has three libraries as well as a marching band program, Gifted And Talented Education, Project Lead the Way’s Gateway to Technology Program. Richland Schools are active in academic competitions, including Math Field Day, History Day, the Oral Language Festival. Math has been a strength of Richland Schools in recent years; the percentage of Richland 8th graders scoring “Proficient” or “Advanced” in Algebra quadrupled from 2008 to 2013, earning the Richland Junior High Algebra Department an Award from the Shafter Chamber of Commerce in 2013.
In 2014, R
Kern County, California
Kern County is a county in the U. S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 839,631, its county seat is Bakersfield. Kern County comprises California Metropolitan statistical area; the county spans the southern end of the Central Valley. Covering 8,161.42 square miles, it ranges west to the southern slope of the Coast Ranges, east beyond the southern slope of the eastern Sierra Nevada into the Mojave Desert, at the city of Ridgecrest. Its northernmost city is Delano and its southern reach expands just beyond Lebec to Grapevine and the northern tip of the parallel Antelope Valley; the county's economy is linked to agriculture and to petroleum extraction. There is a strong aviation and military presence, such as Edwards Air Force Base, the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station, the Mojave Air and Space Port, it is one of the fastest-growing areas in the United States in terms of population growth, but suffers from significant water supply issues and poor air quality. The area was claimed by the Spanish in 1769.
In 1772 Commander Don Pedro Fages became the first European to enter it, from the south by way of the Grapevine Canyon. Kern County was the site of the Battle of San Emigdio, in March 1824, between the Chumash Indians of Mission Santa Barbara who rebelled against the Mexican government's taking over mission property and ejecting the natives; this battle with Mexican forces from Monterey under the command of Carlos Carrillo took place at the canyon where San Emigdio Creek flows down San Emigdio Mountain and the Blue Ridge south of Bakersfield near today's Highway 166. It was a low-casualty encounter, with only four Indians killed, no Mexicans. In the beginning, the area that became Kern County was dominated by mining in the mountains and in the desert. In 1855 an attempt to form a county in the area was made when the California legislature took the southeastern territory of Tulare County on the west of the Sierra Nevada Mountains for Buena Vista County, but it was never organized prior to 1859, when the enabling legislation expired.
The south of Tulare County was organized as Kern County in 1866, with additions from Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties. Its first county seat was in the mining town of Havilah, in the mountains between Bakersfield and Tehachapi; the flatlands were considered inhospitable and impassable at the time due to swamps, tule reeds and diseases such as malaria. This changed when settlers started draining lands for farming and constructing canals, most dug by hand by hired Chinese laborers. Within 10 years the valley surpassed the mining areas as the economic center of the county, the county seat was moved as a result from Havilah to Bakersfield in 1874; the discovery well of the Kern River Oil Field was dug by hand in 1899. Soon the towns of Oil City, Oil Center and Oildale came into existence; the county derives its name from the Kern River, named for Edward Kern, cartographer for General John C. Frémont's 1845 expedition; the Kern River was named Rio Bravo de San Felipe by Father Francisco Garcés when he explored the area in 1776.
Severe earthquakes have struck Kern County within historical times, including the 1857 Fort Tejon earthquake. On July 21, 1952, an earthquake occurred with the epicenter about 23 miles south of Bakersfield, it killed 12 people. In addition to the deaths, it was responsible for hundreds of injuries and more than $60 million in property damage; the main shock was felt over much of California and as far away as Phoenix and Reno, Nevada. The earthquake occurred on the White Wolf Fault and was the strongest to occur in California since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Tehachapi suffered the greatest damage and loss of life from the earthquake, though its effects were felt throughout central and southern California; the event had a significant aftershock sequence that persisted into July and August with the strongest coming on August 22, an M5.8 event with a maximum perceived intensity of VIII and resulted in two additional deaths and an additional $10 million in property damage. Repercussions of the sequence of earthquakes were still being felt in the damaged downtown area of Bakersfield well into the 1990s as city leaders attempted to improve safety of the surviving non-reinforced masonry buildings.
Following the event, a field survey was conducted along the fault zone with the goal of estimating the peak ground acceleration of the shock based on visually evaluating precarious rock formations and other indicators. Ground disturbances that were created by the earthquakes were surveyed, both in the valley and in the foothills, with both vertical and horizontal displacements present in the epicenter area; the strong motion records that were acquired from the event were significant, a reconnaissance report was recognized for its coverage of the event, how it set a standard for those types of engineering or scientific papers. Between 1983 and 1986, several ritual sex ring child abuse cases occurred in Kern County, resulting in numerous long prison sentences, all of which were overturned—some of them decades because the prosecutors had coerced false testimonies from the purported child victims; the details of these false accusations are covered extensively in the 2008 documentary Witch Hunt, narrated by Sean Penn.
Kern county is considered to be a hotbed of country music the Bakersfield sound. The Buck Owens Crystal Palace is located in Bakersfield; the 2015 Disn