• Barker Ranch, Ditch and Springs, 1874-1909

    Author(s):
    Gilbert Peter Gia (see profile)
    Date:
    2023
    Subject(s):
    Hot springs, Water rights, Outdoor recreation, Land tenure, California--Kern County
    Item Type:
    Monograph
    Tag(s):
    Barker, irrigation, Hot springs, parks
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/276v-ac79
    Abstract:
    Exactly when Barker opened Barker Springs is not known, but by the early 1890s it had become a recreational destination. For several Sundays in May 1891 a driver known as "Papa Newman" operated a 10-mile-round-trip, one-dollar excursion from Arlington Hotel at 19th and Chester in Bakersfield to "Fabulous Barker Springs." On the Fourth of July 1891 a Californian reporter observed merrymakers on Barker’s rafts surrounded by "swarms of festive grasshoppers." Visitors also came to the springs to hear 60-year-old Captain John Barker recite Milton, Poe, and Scott and entertain his guests with recollections of early Kern and Tulare Counties.
    Notes:
    Barker experimented with natural gas that emitted as bubbles from a sulfur spring near the bank of the river. Through successive improvements in design, Barker was able to use the low-pressure vapor to light and heat his one-story cottage on the mesa.
    Metadata:
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    6 months ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

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