Friday, April 24, 2015

U is for Underwater Town


1940's


Yes, I said underwater town. Actually I should say Underwater Towns, because both Lake Isabella and Kernville did not originally sit in their current locations. 



2003


This is because the dam was not always here. Originally the water followed it’s own path through the valley and down out of the mountains toward Bakersfield. 






The dam came in the 50’s, one of 30 big dam projects funded by the federal government.  





But unlike many other towns, the locals of Kernville and Isabella were able to save most of their buildings. They loaded them up on flat beds and relocated them to their current locations. All they left behind was the jailhouse.



Relocated Isabella


As the lake water continues to recede, more and more structures and roads are being uncovered, giving people glimpses of the town that used to exist beneath the reservoir’s murky waters.




Of course locals and tourists alike are happy to see the nostalgic sites uncovered, but the loss of the lake and it’s continued depletion is disheartening for many.



Links to learn more about Old Isabella, Kernville and the receding waters of Lake Isabella

Tour of the 178

Receding Lake Waters

Ghost Town Emerges