Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert

We celebrate the past.

HSUMD is a nonprofit public benefit corporation located in Ridgecrest, California. As a historical society, our missions are:

  • To collect, preserve and display artifacts, memorabilia and information directed towards a greater understanding and appreciation of the cultural history of the Upper Mojave Desert; and


  • To develop promote and report on cultural history data for the education and benefit of public and private institutions and individuals.

This corporation is organized and operated exclusively for charitable purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

We protect our history.

The HSUMD’s offices, libraries, history collections and exhibits, meeting area and performance stage for community events, gift shop and museum are located in the Historic USO Building and in the various historic buildings on HSUMD property. The Historical Society also acquired a historic one-room schoolhouse that was built in 1905, restored it to its original configuration, and opened the region’s only Veterans Memorial Building. Buildings under the stewardship of HSUMD include the Historic USO Building, the Original Kern County Jail, the Original Kern County Firehouse, two Original Engine Houses, and the Original Kern County Library.

our featured projects


The historic USO

The building has served as the headquarters building of the Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert...


Veterans Memorial Building

A one-room schoolhouse built in 1905 made its way to HSUMD property in 2010, and was restored by HSUMD...


Kern County Fire House

Kern County Engine Houses were opened in early 1950s to house fire trucks, and...


Kern County Jail

Kern County Jail opened in August 1955 to support the Justice Court in the (now called) Historic USO Building...