The First Baptist Church building, which survived the 1952 earthquake and is now a commercial-use structure, is one of several buildings in Bakersfield listed on the National Register of Historic Places.The earthquake, which measured 7.5 on the moment magnitude scale and was felt from San Francisco to the Mexican border, destroyed the nearby communities of Tehachapi and Arvin.The earthquake's destructive force also bent cotton fields into U shapes, slid a shoulder of the Tehachapi Mountains across all four lanes of the Ridge Route, collapsed a water tower creating a flash flood, and destroyed the railroad tunnels in the mountain chain.Bakersfield was spared, experiencing minor architectural damage without loss of life.
Bakersfield lies around 100 miles (160 km) north of Los Angeles (about a 1½-hour drive on I-5 and State Route 99) and about 300 mi (480 km) southeast of the state capital, Sacramento (about a 4½-hour drive on State Route 99).
Following the discovery of gold in California in 1848, settlers flooded into the San Joaquin Valley.
In 1851, gold was discovered along the Kern River in the southern Sierra Nevada, and in 1865, oil was discovered in the valley.
East Bakersfield generally refers to the former town of Sumner (later renamed East Bakersfield).
As a result, the Northeast wraps around East Bakersfield.
Summers are very hot and there are extended stretches of hot weather with 108 days per year above 90 °F or 32.2 °C (on average between April 19 and October 12); Winters feature mild daytime temperatures, although frost can occasionally occur, often coming with dense tule fog and low visibility, causing many schools to have fog delays as long as three hours.