East Bakersfield

East Bakersfield

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East Bakersfield

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East Bakersfield is a region in Bakersfield, California directly east of downtown. The region was the former town of Sumner, which was later incorporated and renamed Kern City. It is primarily a mixture of residential and commercial developments. It also contains a small business district (which was the downtown for Kern City) centered around the intersection of Baker St, and Sumner Ave.


In 1874, the Southern Pacific railroad was extended to the southern San Joaquin Valley. Bakersfield was positioned to be a whistle-stop, but a land dispute developed between the city and the railroad. Southern Pacific wanted two blocks of land from the city, Bakersfield was only willing to give one block. The result of the dispute was Southern Pacific building its tracks five miles east of Bakersfield and founding their own town. That town was called Sumner in honor of Joseph W. Sumner, and mine owner and judge. It would eventually become East Bakersfield.Baily, Richard. Heart of the Golden Empire. Windsor Publications Inc, Woodland Hills, CA:1984. ISBN 0-89781-065-1. Pages 49-50.

Since the train went through Sumner, instead of Bakersfield, it was a serious competitor to the city. However, the citizens of Bakersfield rallied, and maintained a presence in their city. By 1888, a street car line was built between...
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