Bakersfield, Kern County Court House

Bakersfield, Courthouse Built 1876 as the Kern County Courthouse. This scan is from a 1907 postcard sent for one cent, December 28th, to Lassen Colorado by a Stockton California woman. Her correspondence on the back indicates she arrived in Bakersfield at noon on December 24th after not seeing anything, "Of croses" on the way (probably misspelled crosses and meant she did not see any landmarks between Stockton and Bakersfield).

This courthouse became Kern County's courthouse after it was designed by architect Albert A. Bennett and built in 1876 when the Kern County seat was moved from Havilah to Bakersfield in 1876. In a bibical story, gold is found in Havilah. It is easy to understand why this Kern town was named Havilah, and why it ceased to be the county seat twelve years after the original settlement there.

The 1876 courthouse was enlarged in 1896 by architect Charles Barnett McDougall. Due to the expanding nature of Kern County, the 1876 courthouse was replaced by a new one in 1912, but the old one remained. The 1876 courthouse was destroyed by the 1952 Techaccipi Earthquake which measured a 7.6 on the Richter Scale.

Karl Gerber is not sure where he picked up this now 107 year-old postcard. A later colorized version can found online. Mr. Gerber has been following California history, and collecting historical documents for several decades. Before the age of eBay there was not much of a market for old, rare postcards of buildings destroyed forty years earlier.