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History of BHS 


A bird's-eye view, 1949

The population of Kern County was about 10,000 when a General Election was held in Bakersfield on November 8, 1892. When the ballots were tabulated, 1,274 residents had voted for, and 286 voted against, establishing the county’s first high school. Kern County High School opened January 12, 1893.

Classes were held in two rooms on the second floor of a building at the corner of Truxtun and L Streets. There were 32 students in attendance. The school was the responsibility of the Kern County Superintendent of Schools, who at that time was Alfred Harrell, later to be the founder and publisher of The Bakersfield Californian newspaper. In its second year of operation, the school held its first graduation ceremony. A total of three students graduated.

Kern County High School 1893-1915
Kern County Union High School 1915-1945
Bakersfield Junior College 1913-1956 initially housed on the BHS campus (then, Kern County Union High School)
Bakersfield High School 1945-infinity