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According to local historian Gilbert Gia By 1880, the town had a population of 801, and by 1890, it had a population of 2,626.
Migration from Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Southern California brought new residents, who were mostly employed by the oil industry.
To the south, the Tehachapi Mountains, rising more than a vertical mile, feature the historic Tejon Ranch.
To the west is the Temblor Range, behind which is the Carrizo Plain National Monument and the San Andreas Fault.
Following the discovery of gold in California in 1848, settlers flooded into the San Joaquin Valley.
In 1851, gold was discovered along the Kern River in the southern Sierra Nevada, and in 1865, oil was discovered in the valley.
The more built-up urban area that includes Bakersfield and areas immediately around the city, such as East Bakersfield, Oildale and Rosedale, has a population of approximately 464,000. The city is a significant hub for both agriculture and oil production.
Kern County is the most productive oil-producing county, along the branches of the Kern River Delta and hunted antelope, tule elk, deer, bear, fish, and game birds.
Bakersfield was spared, experiencing minor architectural damage without loss of life.
The Bakersfield area, once a tule-reed-covered marshland, was first known as Kern Island to the handful of pioneers who built log cabins there in 1860.
The area was subject to periodic flooding from the Kern River, which occupied what is now the downtown area, and experienced outbreaks of malaria.
Bakersfield's long summers gives the region a climate suitable for growing a variety of crops (ranging from carrots to citrus, almonds, and pistachios).
Rainfall is low in the city, however, averaging only 6.5 inches or 165 millimetres annually, mostly falling during winter and spring.
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