Established in 1941, the Kern County Museum is located on a 16-acre site, north of downtown Bakersfield, California. It features more than 50 historic structures and buildings, and exhibitions showing the history of Kern County.
The museum was started in a corner of the Chamber of Commerce building in Bakersfield. At present, it encompasses the entire Chamber of Commerce building.
It boasts a rich collection of artifacts dating from prehistoric times to the present. The museum offers educational programs such as Native American Life, and Frontier Life. It hosts temporary exhibitions and special events as well.
The museum is managed by the Joint Powers Authority between Kern County and the Kern County Board of Education. The Kern County Museum Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation formed in 1991, supports the works of the museum.
The Lori Brock Children's Discovery Center portion of the museum was opened in 1976, providing educational experiences for children.
The museum store contains a large assortment of books, postcards, toys, educational souvenirs, and hand-crafted items.