"The Southern Pacific Portable Jail" Top 5 Page for this destination Bakersfield Off The Beaten Path Tip by Yaqui

Bakersfield Off The Beaten Path: 34 reviews and 132 photos

If you love historical buildings, then you are going to just love this place. Kern County has taken great pride and effort to preserve the history of pioneers and where they once lived. These 56 buildings on 16 acres were lovingly moved and restored inside the park and arrange into a wonderful presentation of what an old town would look like. Most of the building you can walk inside and view the furnishings of what may had been the fashion during its era.

Every building is special and all has some type of significant history. This one is the Southern Pacific Portable Jail. A most unusual accommodation, the Southern Pacific Portable Jail was built sometime in the 1870's, and was used to house prisoners being taken by rail to the county seat for judgment. It did its duty affixed to the top of a railroad flat car as a sort of paddy wagon on rails, but when its time was up, the little calaboose was forced to do hard time in Delano until sprung by the Kern County Museum and brought to Pioneer Village for its well deserved retirement.

During its time of service the little jail rolled up and down the Southern Pacific tracks as the rail line to Caliente was being completed. On the southern side of the Tehachapis getting prisoners to their destination meant getting them as close to Caliente as possible, and then taking them by horseback up the Caliente-Bodfish Road to the County Courthouse at Havilah. All this was to change in 1884, when the Kern Valley Diggings began to play out and the county seat was transferred to Bakersfield; but even then, the little jail just kept right on rolling.http://www.peterlebeckecv.com/1971_Max_Bowser.html

Dedicated June 5, 1971
E Clampus Vitus
Peter Lebec Chapter

Located at: 3801 Chester Ave, Bakersfield, Ca
Located in the park grounds of the Kern County Musuem.
Kern County Museum

Phone: (661) 852-5000
Website: http://www.peterlebeckecv.com/1971_Max_Bowser.html

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jun 27, 2009
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