To get a better grasp on the future, one must understand the history and past that paved the way for the present, and the museums of Tehachapi do just that.

Visitors can get a taste of the early days of Tehachapi through the Tehachapi and Errea House museums. They tell the story of how far the city has come, offering its rich culture and letting visitors feel as though they were there, if only for a short time.

Both sites are owned and operated by the Tehachapi Heritage League, a group of Tehachapi citizens whose mission is to preserve the local historical sites of the city. The group also works to restore these historical landmarks.

Also, be sure to check out the new Golden Age of Flight Museum.

TEHACHAPI MUSEUM

The Tehachapi Museum holds a slew of artifacts that will take visitors on a journey through the beginning of the city, and recognizes the importance of the ranchers and farmers who settled into town.

Upon entrance, visitors should also take note of the art deco structure of the Tehachapi Museum building, a classic style of architecture that has remained. Prior to the museum, the building served as a branch of the Kern County Library system until 1982, when the Heritage League moved its office location to that space.

Explore the assortment of collections displayed throughout the building and see Tehachapi represented as it progressed through the years, including clothing, tools, household items, wildlife and more from those early time periods.

The museum also features the Milano Gallery, which highlights the legacy of the Native American Kawaiisu, including pieces of their hand-woven baskets and rock art.

The Tehachapi Museum is located at 310 S. Green St. Admission is free.

ERREA HOUSE MUSEUM

Just across the street from the Tehachapi Museum stands the Errea House Museum. It is the oldest house in the area, going back to the 1870s and is even listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Located in what is now considered Old Town, this space gives visitors a closer look at home life in Tehachapi from those early days.

The Errea House property includes a refurbished parlor, dining room, kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms and a covered porch that helps guests of the establishment imagine the rural days of the city from long ago.

The house is named after a Spanish Basque family who lived in the house for more than 70 years.

The museum has also recently undergone renovations in the garden to resemble that of the gardens represented in Tehachapi homes in the 1900s to 1930s.

A walking tour of Historic Downtown Tehachapi is also something to consider. A PDF file can be downloaded and printed from the website with a complete list of spots to visit by foot. The Tehachapi Depot, the BeeKay Theatre and the Bandhauer Market are just a few stops visitors can see along the way.

The wall murals of Tehachapi are also something to be admired, which represent and characterize the city through the paintings. The People of the Mountains, Red Front Blacksmith Shop, Tehachapi Loop, 1915 Street Dance and the T-hacha-P Brand murals are a few to stop by along the streets, going from one destination to the next.

The Errea House Museum is located at 311 S. Green St. Admission is also free.

The Tehachapi Museum and the Errea House Museum are open from noon to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday. More information about these attractions can also be found at tehachapimuseum.org or by calling 661-822-8152.

GOLDEN AGE OF FLIGHT MUSEUM

The Golden Age of Flight Museum is dedicated to aviation history in Kern County from the years 1920 to the 1950s. Museum founder Todd Schultz calls this period the “Golden Age of Aviation History."

It is supported by local aviation enthusiasts “whose mission is to promote aviation history with an emphasis as it relates to Kern County.” They have been active at Meadows Field in Bakersfield for a number of years, restoring vintage aircraft, which are regularly flown to various air shows. Space grew limited and public access to their display was restrictive.

Located in Hangar H with public access from their entrance on Commercial Way, they hope to be open the second Saturday of each month to start, and add more days as volunteers become available.