Kern Life: SHAFTER: Embracing Kern County History and Culture | Bakersfield life

Much of Shafter’s charm is how it has embraced its history, according to Bob Meadows, the town’s director of business development.

Shafter was incorporated in 1938, but its roots actually run deeper.

Shafter traces its beginnings to the completion of the Santa Fe Railroad in 1898, according to tree.comthen gradually grew into the city of around 20,000 people it is today, with exciting plans for growth.

“I think a lot of Shafter is historic because it was a railroad town, and that’s how it all started,” Meadows said.

Here are some places, attractions and things to do if you happen to go there.

Minter Field Air Museum: This gateway to Shafter’s past is also part of a working airport for Kern County, which was established in June 1941, but officially opened on February 7, 1942.

Today, in addition to being a working airfield, the facility that helped train more than 11,000 World War II Army Air Corps pilots from 1941 to 1945 is a military aviation museum and hosts events, including car shows, which take place throughout the year.

The Minter Field Air Museum is located at 401 Vultee St. Visit for more information, including hours of operation.

The Shafter Depot Museum: The Santa Fe Railroad opened the Shafter Depot in 1917, about four blocks from its current location.

A sign outside the depot states that from its opening until its closure in 1978, the facility served as the city’s ‘gateway to the world’, as it facilitated major transportation, as well than Western Union mail and telegraphs, in addition to its status as a community hub.

It was so important to the region that its closure prompted the founding of the city’s Historical Society, which saw the preservation of the facility as its primary mission.

The green hotel: Another interesting and unique attraction that perfectly illustrates the historic architecture of the era, known as the “Bungalow Era”, is the Green Hotel, according to

The hotel no longer welcomes customers for overnight stays; however, it hosts a number of local functions in its outdoor space, Meadows said.

The hotel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.

Café Shafter Ford Theater/Tin Cup: What would a charming, historic rural town be without its local café and theatre?

Shafter Ford Theater was previously a Ford dealership, hence its name, Meadows said, but it has since been refurbished and converted into a 250-seat theater by the Starrh family, a leading agriculture and development group . The venue also hosts the Shafter children’s summer theater program.

The property also includes the Tin Cup Coffee, which is attached to the theater. The shop features Covenant Coffee, which is a local Bakersfield roaster.

Both are located at 1101 E. Lerdo Highway.

Food and drinks: Although Shafter may not be a big town, there are a few places where big appetites can be satiated with hearty meals. The General’s Headquarters, which locals simply refer to as “The General”, is renowned for its hearty burgers, quality shakes and reasonable prices.

El Michoacano is highly rated based on its Yelp reviews and open from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. or 10:00 p.m. depending on the day of the week. The Imperial on Lerdo Highway and Rocy’s Mexican Food on Shafter Boulevard are also popular spots.

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