Skip to comments.Kern County's rich oil field of history
Posted on 11/28/2011 6:03:41 PM PST by thecodont
Reporting from Taft, Calif. Anywhere else, linking an aromatic cup of coffee and a gooey glob of oil would quickly kill a restaurant. Not so in Taft, Calif., the Taft Crude Coffee House is a popular stop for hot coffee or iced mocha.
And in an era when oil spills tend to be environmental disasters, people here are happy to provide directions to the Lakeview Gusher, even though it spewed more than 9 million barrels of oil, nearly twice the amount spilled in 2010 from the Deepwater Horizon, the ill-fated British Petroleum rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Over 18 months in 1910 and 1911, the Taft-area spill turned the local landscape into a tar-coated wasteland.
As it has for decades, oil courses through this town's veins. During the Dust Bowl years, people moved west not only to work the San Joaquin Valley's fertile farm fields but also its oil fields. People still speak with a distinctive twang.
"You know, Bakersfield is the fourth-largest city in Oklahoma," said Taft resident Fred Holmes during a chat at Taft's West Kern Oil Museum. It and a museum in Bakersfield educate visitors about the oil industry, second only to agriculture in Kern County and one that has made many people rich.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
James Garner was from Oklahoma and he always joked that the first 3 words kids from Oklahoma learned were mommy, daddy and Bakersfield.
The history of oil drilling in California is actually quite interesting, IMO. Google “California Oil History” for some very interesting sites.
Lots of Los Angeles, specifically including downtown (where the “Superman” building is) were heavy oil producing areas possibly into the forties and fifties. I used to live on the beach in Los Angeles, and where I lived, Playa del Rey and Venice was absolutely peppered with hundreds and hundreds of derricks well into the 1920’s.
Fair amount here http://www.aapg.org/explorer/2007/03mar/oil_history.cfm
Yes, and also the producing oil derrick on the grounds of Beverly Hills High School (it generates revenue for the school).
What is also interesting about oil production in California is that much of the modern techniques to get hard-to-extract oil—namely steam and CO2 gas injection—were developed in California oilfields. It is this very technology that has tremendously extended the life of many oilfields around the world.
I call Kevin Harvick the the Little Okie from Bakersfield. I lived in Western Fresno county when the Kern fields were being developed and the father of some of my friends worked on those rigs. He followed the oil to Coalinga Ca and was killed there one drunken night...
As a young’un I made summer money working in the grape sheds at Arvin and Lamont south of Bakersfield. I worked with many Okies, and learned then that they had a deep love for America first, and cars second. Or was it vice versa?
Brings back memories of the country-western song: “Dear Okie, have you seen Arkie? Tell him Tex has a job for him out in Californey. Picking up prunes, squeezing oil from the olives. You’ll have trouble findin a place to live, but there are orange juice fountains flowing for those kids of his....”
These stories always bring back memories of the dances at the FResno Barn or the little Honky Tonk taverns in every little town like Arvin or further north in Tranquillity. The Maddox Brothers and Rose were very popular but they were from Boak Al not Okla
These stories always bring back memories of the dances at the FREsno Barn or the little Honky Tonk taverns in every little town like Arvin or further north in Tranquillity. The Maddox Brothers and Rose were very popular but they were from Boak Al not Okla
And good ole Buck Owens...
Good Old Buck and his Bakersfield Sound came after I traded the Valley of the Cotton for the Valley of Giants...