Visitors interested in learning about Tehachapi’s history have several ways to explore its roots.
Tehachapi offers several museums that provide a glimpse into the past and how Tehachapi has transformed into what it is today. Here’s a look at a few museums around town and what they offer visitors.
People can get a sense of the history of the Tehachapi area by visiting the Tehachapi Museum at 310 S. Green St.
The museum, run by the Tehachapi Heritage League, features several exhibits that highlight life in Tehachapi’s early days. Charles White, president of the league, said the museum is in the process of expanding its Kawaiisu exhibit, which includes artifacts from the local Native American community.
The expansion, expected to be completed in June 2019, will include new artifacts, baskets and other items, White said.
The Tehachapi Museum building was built in 1931 in the popular art deco architecture of that era, according to the Heritage League. The building served as a branch of the Kern County Library until 1982, when the league moved the museum to this location.
The Tehachapi Museum is open from noon to 4 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Call 822-8152 for more information.
Errea House Museum
Across the street from the Tehachapi Museum is the Errea House Museum, also managed by the league.
The museum, located at 311 S. Green St., provides attendees with a snapshot of how people used to live in Tehachapi in the early 1900s. The house features a refurbished parlor, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms and covered porch.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Errea House is the oldest house in the area, dating back to the 1870s, according to the league. Around 1900, the house — named after a Spanish Basque family who lived in the home for more than 70 years — was moved on log rollers to its present location.
White said the museum has begun a renovation of the garden located on the north side of the property.
“It’s going to be a cottage-type garden that would have been indicative of the 1900s to 1930s,” he said. “We’re doing a complete redesign and replanting.”
White said the new garden won’t be finished until 2020, but it will remain open to the public during construction.
“People will be able to see the development as we add new features,” he said.
The Errea House Museum is open from noon to 4 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call 822-8152.
Tehachapi Depot Railroad Museum
An examination into Tehachapi’s beginnings wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Tehachapi Depot Railroad Museum, as it was the coming of the railroad that led to the founding of Tehachapi in 1976, according to the Heritage League.
The museum has hundreds of train items on exhibit, a working train signal garden, a play lot for kids, a gift shop and more.
The museum is a replica of one of the few buildings that remained standing in Tehachapi following the 1952 earthquake. The building was completely destroyed by fire in 2008 but was subsequently rebuilt.
The museum is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday through Monday. Tours are free, although donations are welcomed.