The high, green world of Kern, of course, was known to California Indians long years before the white man stepped in to lay his hooks of possession upon it. But when gold was found in its swift river and feeder streams, a generation of hell could not keep them out. The Kern River El Dorado, spawned by the 1849 rush to Sutter’s Mill, was under way in frenzied earnest by 1854-55. The success and the heartbreak in Kern River’s generation of sirface-skiming and deep-mining, are told by an author who was born in Old Kernville (Whiskey Flat) and generations back. What adds interest to the Kern River El Dorado is the author’s intimate pictures of the characters and opportunists who made up and manipulated the horde of gold seekers, the weird and interesting ways they attacked the stubborn problems of making their rough and stubborn problems of making their rough and stubborn world yield its “color”.
As always a world of miners spawned its generation of violence, and Kern River Country was no exception. Its badmen and gunslingers were as tough and dangerous as they were legendary. And since the wild world of the Kern was a microcosm of the whole American West, there followed the inevitable but later tussle between cattlemen and sheepmen.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kern River Country, the fourth and closing volume of Bob Powers’ mountain saga, completes a work of dedication and magnitude. Because Bob cared enough to take up a task that has occupied almost ten years of his life, neighbors and friends, and all of the Kern River Country, are now everyone’s neighbor and friends, and everyone’s country. Born in Old Kernville, a town which in 1952 was buried under the waters of Lake Isabella, Bob Powers is fifth generation descendant of the Kern country pioneers. He has never wanted to live anywhere else. His roots go down to Kern River Country beginnings. His heart and soul remains with it today. The pages of his books are rich with the tales of heroic, lovable, and sometimes strange people who for generations have inhabited this center of rugged and isolated grandeur. In four beautiful volumes of words and pictures, Bob Powers has superlatively filled his dedication and commitment to tell the story of his beloved and authentic corner of the Old West.
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