Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

History at a glance, part 1

The Spirit of Tehachapi

Series: History at a glance | Story 1

Sometimes it's interesting to read little timelines listing events of many years ago. I don't really live in the past, but it's interesting to find out what people were doing in this little valley when Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Ben Franklin and "the rest of the boys" were signing the Declaration of Independence in 1776 back on the east side of the country, as well as including a couple of hundred other years, just for fun.

1776 – Padre Francisco Garces traverses Tehachapi Pass with four Mojave Indian guides.

1776 – First Christian baptism in San Joaquin Valley.

1781 – Father Garces dies a martyr's death.

1827 – Jedediah Smith crosses Tehachapi Pass.

1832-33 – Kit Carson guides trappers through Tehachapi Pass: Jedediah's route.

1843 – John C. Fremont crosses Oak Creek and Tehachapi Passes.

1848 – Gold discovered at Sutter's Mill in California.

1850 – California admitted to the United States, Sept. 9. Congress vowed it was not because of the gold strike.

1853 – Lt. Robert Williamson explored Tehachapi Pass for possible rail route.

1854 – Kern gold strike begins.

1854Tehachapi's first settler: John Moore Brite, wife Amanda and family.

1856 – George Cummings first saw Tehachapi on a cattle run. Soon settled in a valley to be named for him.

1856 – First Fourth of July celebration in Kern County held in Tehachapi.

1856 – Squire Wiggins, first Postmaster of Old Town. Located in Green's General Store.

1861 – William Wiggins conducts first school in Tehachapi Valley.

1866 – First Catholic Church built in Havilah.

1867 – First woman school teacher; Louesa Marie Jewett (Crites). Arrived in Tehachapi on horseback. First students last names: Brite, Wiggins, Dozier, Cuddeback, Hossick, Hart, Hale, Tyler.

1869 – Fickert family moves to Bear Valley from the Owens Valley.

1869 – Anton Pauley moves to Tehachapi for his health. Pursues farming and butcher business.

1870 – John Narboe is first Postmaster of Tehachapi.

1876 – Railroad opens line to southland. Loop also opened.

1876 – Town of Tehachapi founded. First called Summit Station, Southern Pacific built a depot on site. That action began the town.

1877 – First Catholic Church Mass was held April 12, in the home of Anton Pauley.

1879-1896 – Father William Denpflln, known to local Kawaiisu Indians as "Padre Blanco" traveled a wide area of California including Tehachapi.

1881 – The Tehachapi Methodist-Episcopal Church, later known as the Community Congregational Church, was declared a parish.

1887 – St. Malachy Catholic Church built on F Street. Land donated by Anton Pauley.

1907 – Amanda Brite, earliest settler and wife of John Moore Brite, still living.

1909Tehachapi became incorporated city. Bank of Tehachapi capital $100,000

To be continued...