Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert




We celebrate the past.

HSUMD is a small nonprofit corporation located in Ridgecrest, California. As a historical society, our main mission is to find, store, preserve, protect, exhibit, and educate the public about historical artifacts and materials related to the history of our region. The Society also has a mission to write and publish books and other materials that reveal our region’s history. And the Society has a mission to restore, operate, and display a collection of historic buildings that represent the civic origins of the city of Ridgecrest.

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, and two Original Engine Houses.

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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...

updates & news

Welcome to our new website!

We’re proud to unveil our new website! After several months of work this new site is clean, fast & loaded with features!