Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert

Historic Buildings

The civic origins of Ridgecrest

The Historic USO Building

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The building served as a USO Club for 15 months (October 1945 to January 1947) and became the center of community activity

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The building served as a Kern County Building for 33 years (January 1947 to January 1979) and became the site of a Justice Court and several county offices

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The building served as a City of Ridgecrest building for 26+ years (January 1979 to 2005) and became the site of a several city offices and recreational programs

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The building has served as the headquarters building of the Historical Society of the Upper Mojave Desert (HSUMD) for 12+ years (2005 to present) and has returned as a center of community activity as well as an historical research, archival, and exhibit facility

The Veterans Memorial Building

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An early photograph of the Isabella School (built in Old Isabella in 1905)

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The building was moved from Isabella to Ridgecrest in 1955 to become a Parks and Recreation facility, underwent some superficial changes during the city’s 55 years of stewardship, and moved again to HSUMD property in 2010

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The building was restored to its original look by HSUMD, and dedicated in 2015 as the region’s Veterans Memorial Building

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A one-room schoolhouse built in 1905 made its way to HSUMD property in 2010, and was restored by HSUMD to become our region’s Veterans Memorial Building

The Original Kern County Jail

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A view of the interior of the Original Kern County Jail, which had three cells, each with beds, a toilet, and a sink

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Kern County Jail opened in August 1955 to support the Justice Court in the (now called) Historic USO Building, and was restored by HSUMD in 2017

Original Kern County Firehouse

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Kern County Firehouse was opened to county firemen and Call Fireman volunteers in 1952, and is being restored by HSUMD

Kern County Engine Houses

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Kern County Engine Houses were opened in early 1950s to house fire trucks, and await funds before being restored by HSUMD