Bakersfield Californian Building
Backstory and Context
The Bakersfield Californian building was built to house the descendant of the first newspaper in Kern County, The Daily Courier, which was first published in the town of Havilah (1866). Havilah was originally a mining town, and was the first county seat before local government moved to the city of Bakersfield. The newspaper moved along with it. The newspaper underwent several name changes before Alfred Harrell, then the Kern County Superintendent of Schools, purchased the newspaper in 1897 and renamed it The Bakersfield Californian in the year 1907. Ever since Harrell bought it, the newspaper has been in the hands of the Harrell-Fritts family. Today, it is currently run by Virginia F. "Ginger" Moorhouse, the great-granddaughter of Alfred Harrell. It is one of the primary sources of news and the longest-running newspaper in Kern County.
The Bakersfield Californian building was built in 1926, making it a historical architectural landmark. Designed by architect Charles Howatt Biggar, the building is one of Bakersfield's best-known historical buildings. It was built in the Italian Renaissance Revival style, and despite several additions and alterations over the years that reflect the community's and newspaper's growth, it still maintains much of its historic character. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 10, 1983. The Bakersfield Californian building is no longer occupied by The Bakersfield Californian, a daily newspaper that serves not only the city of Bakersfield, but also residents of Kern County and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Newspaper operations relocated to 3700 Pegasus Drive, the facility where the newspaper is printed.
As is often the case for historic buildings, the Bakersfield Californian building is said to be haunted, as several employees and locals who have been inside the building claim to have heard strange noises when no one was around. Some people also claim to have seen a dark and mysterious figure that wanders by the front entrance of the building. These claims have generated interest by those who might like a glimpse of the paranormal themselves.
Ultimately, the Bakersfield Californian building is a beautiful window to Kern County's past, providing residents with a glimpse of just one example of the rich history of Bakersfield's downtown district.
- Wikipedia contributors, "Bakersfield Californian Building," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bakersfield_Californian_Building (accessed July 1, 2017).
- John Carroll Teves. "The Bakersfield Californian Building." National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination Form. The Bakersfield Californian, Bakersfield, CA, March 10, 1983. https://npgallery.nps.gov/pdfhost/docs/nrhp/text/83001183.PDF
- "A Newsworthy Haunting at the Bakersfield Californian Building," Backpackerverse (blog), 2016, http://backpackerverse.com/newsworthy-haunting-bakersfield-californian-building/
- Price, Robert. "Goodbye, Iconic 1707 Eye, Hello New Chapter in Local Journalism," Bakersfield.com. November 4th 2018. Accessed December 13th 2019. https://www.bakersfield.com/columnists/robert-price/robert-price-goodbye-iconic-eye-hello-new-chapter-in-local/article_aae24f4a-d7ee-11e8-ad30-d3f4133d68c6.html.