The Celtic Connection in Kern County
By Herald Yule
The Celtic Community is alive and well in Kern County! The Scots and Irish have provided much to enrich the history and lives of Kern County residents. Here's a little local history from 1830 to 1923 involving the Scots/Irish, using the Clan or District name where the surname was first reported.
Ewing Young (Clan Douglas), second U.S. citizen to enter the San Joaquin Valley; Capt. Joseph Walker (Clan Walker) of Walker's Pass fame; Kit Carson (Galloway district), with the Fremont Expedition; Richard Owns (Clan MacEwen), Owens Valley namesake; Lt. George Derby (Aberdeen district) Derby Acres namesake; Gen. Edward Beale (Clan Denzell) established Fort Tejon and Tejon Ranch. His son, Truxtun Beale, left memorials to his parents in the form of the Clock Tower, the Memorial Library, and a city park.
Lt. Williamson (Clan MacWilliams) explored the Tehachapi mountains for the railroad; William Blake (Clan Lamont) explored both Tehachapi Pass and Tejon Pass for the railroad; Richard Keyes (Clan MacKay) began Kern's gold rush and was the namesake of Keyesville; Major Aneas Gordon (Clan Gordon) is of Gordon's Ferry fame; John Hamilton (Clan Hamilton) began commercial oil development; William McFarland (Clan McFarlene) built the first Kern County Hospital; Capt. John Barker (Stirling district) was editor of the Kern County Echo and his ranch, Hart Park, was the first to use natural gas; Tom Means (Clan Menzies) made the oil discovery which led to the Great Oil Boom; John Searles (Dundee district) discovered gold at Goler; and Aurthur McFaden (Clan MacFadyen) founded the town of Lamont and named it after his mother's clan.
Probably Scottish-influenced settlements: Edison (Clan Gordon); Edwards (Lennox district); Fellows (Strathspey district); Frazier Park (Clan Fraser); Keen (Clan MacKean); McFarland (Clan MacFarlene); McKittrick (Clan Maxwell); and Sumner (Clan Lindsay), now known as East Bakersfield.
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Some of the fun events our members and friends have enjoyed with us by volunteering!
The Kern County Scottish Society was established in July 1971 in Bakersfield, California. The Society was formed to promote Scottish heritage and cultural traditions in Kern County and to gather for social functions. Some of these traditions include Highland Games, Highland and Scottish Country Dancing, genealogy, piping and drumming, tartans, Highland dress, and Gaelic, the native language of Scotland.
The Kern County Scottish Society is a non-profit 501 C(3) educational corporation (Tax ID number available on request).
In order to continue our mission we need your support! Volunteers, Membership, Sponsors, and Donations are always needed. Sponsors and donations are tax deductible and a great way to give back to our community.
Membership practically pays for itself in benefits. Here's how: your initial membership comes with member badges (a $20 value- availble after attending 3 General Meetings) & membership cards each time you renew (both available for pick-up at our events). At our Games you will receive 5 free raffle tickets per membership and at each of our General Meetings you will receive 1 free raffle ticket. We also offer special discounts for our current members at some of our events, just to name a few of the perks of membership. Members also receive advanced notice of upcoming events, have opportunities to attend members-only events, and any other important notices we think you may be interested in.
Remember, you do not have to be Scottish to be a member. All we ask is that you have an interest in Scottish heritage, all things Scottish, and having fun! Feel free to tell your friends, co-workers, neighbors to join in the fun. You'd be surprised the number of Kern County residents who don't even know there is such a thing as the Kern County Scottish Society (and we've been around since 1971 - 45 years!)
If you'd like to join or renew your membership use the links provided below to pay for your membership and complete the application. Membership is due each year on the anniversary of your joining. Member badges are available for pick-up at our General Meetings after you've attended 3 of our General Meetings (held each 4th Friday every other month at 7 pm) or our events. Due to cost we are unable to mail the badges or membership cards to you. Once you've completed your application you can email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or send it to the address on the application. You can also send us a check with your application to the address on the application.
Kern County Scottish Society
PO Box 41202
Bakersfield, CA 93384
Family Membership $50
(Plus $5 PayPal charge)
Individual Membership $35
(plus $5 PayPal charge)