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Historic Bakersfield and Kern County

Much has been written about this region of Central California, but the histories on these pages deal with people and events that others overlooked or ignored. If you have corrections or questions, please email

Although I've copyrighted these histories, download what you want for your own personal use.  I only ask that you include a link back to this site. Teachers, these histories are free for your professional use.

--Gilbert Peter Gia

Commercial interests: Honor my copyright by inquiring for permission to use. 

The histories are in PDF format. Adobe Reader® works well, and it's  free at

About Gilbert Peter Gia

I was raised in Bakersfield, taught 32 years in city schools and in 2002 turned my attention to local history.  Without my wife's patience and understanding these histories would not exist.  I am past president of the Kern County Historical Society. My work has variously appeared in the Bakersfield Californian; Bakersfield Magazine; The Blackboard; publications of the Kern County Historical Society; Quarterly of the Kern Genealogical Society; Quarterly of the Tulare County Historical Society; newsletter of the Golden Empire Chapter, American Institute of Architects; Levan Humanities Review at Bakersfield College; City College of New York at Humanity Commons; and The Pulse, the monthly publication of Kern Division, California Retired Teachers' Association. I am co-author of  _Peasant in a Paper Suit_ , the biography of local wrestling promoter Steve Strelich, ISBN 1466464941 .  I'm author of Race, Sports, and Black Unity, 1875-1988: Voices From Chops Lawrence’s Bakersfield , ISBN 978-1-7338860-0-0 and Fairs, Horses, Balloons, and Cars, Kern County, 1871-1952, ISBN 978-1-7338860-1-7. (in progress)

     --The  train logo in each of the histories is my acknowledgment of the  impact that railroads brought to Kern County. --

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