Did you know that Shafter is home to three wonderfully unique museums? Not only that, but all three will be open for FREE for your enjoyment!
The Green Hotel was constructed in 1913 by the Kern County Land Company to house prospective land buyers. Located centrally downtown it was the city’s first commercial building. It served as headquarters for the land company during its sales activities in the Shafter area and is one of the few remaining buildings which represent that era of development in Kern County. The Hotel is an excellent representation of the type of inexpensive construction used in the county. It is an example of Twentieth Century Homestead Architecture and was constructed at the height of the Bungalow Era.
This building originally located four blocks southeast of this site was opened for use and dedicated October 11, 1917. Until closed in 1978, this building served as Shafter's gateway to the world as the mail, Western Union Telegraph, express, freight and rail passengers passed through its doors. The concern for the preservation of this building resulted in the formation of the Shafter Historical Society in July of 1979. In March 1980, the society accepted the gift of the Depot from the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway Co. and moved it to this site donated by the Harlin Wilson family and by the S.A. Camp Ginning Co. With much public support, the society restored the building to its original format and dedicated it for many more years of service as the Shafter Museum October 9th, 1982.
This property has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of Interior
The Museum houses artifacts and photographs of the men and women who were stationed here as well as other military eras. Artifacts include military uniforms, radio equipment, a Link Trainer, a Norden Bomb Sight; Medals and Patches, Echelons (Class Books), Snap Roll Newsletters, hundreds of photographs and documents, and beautiful aviation art.
The Museum also is working on 2 helicopters for display; A Sikorsky H-34 Choctaw flown by the South Vietnam "King Bees", and a OH-6 Loach, used for reconnaissance in Vietnam.
Inside the Museum is a nearly completed Link Trainer. We are also renovating an original 1945 Minter Field GMC fire truck to go along with the 2 operational jeeps: a Ford and a yellow Willys "Follow Me", plus an original 1940s era Plymouth Staff car that was stationed at Gardner Field in Taft, CA.
The Museum features a wonderful collection of models of aircraft and military vehicles. There are several recreations of historic aircraft, ships, and even a German Railroad cannon. There are several displays of local people who made historical contributions, especially during WW I and WW II.
The Museum has a new database of over 11,500 names of cadets and staff who were at Minter Field. Many include pictures in class books. There is also a DVD library of over 900 hours of military and aviation videos, cataloged by subject and names.
Minter Field is base for many flying WWII aircraft, including Stearmans, Aeroncas, Stinsons, North American AT-6s, and a P-51 Mustang. Minter Field is the home of Reno Air Race Champions Bill "Tiger" Destefani and his P-51 "Strega", 8 time Reno winner Eddie Van Fossen who flew the AT-6 "Miss T-N-T", and was the home base of the late Al Goss, Reno AT-6 winner in 2004. The field is known for many restoration companies who specialize in Warbirds and Antiques.
When: Saturday, February 23rd - 11am-2pm
Visit individual museum websites for additional hours and information.