High Desert Memories - A Hometown Journal Commemorating Ridgecrest California
Inyokern was a key point for the delivery and dispersal of parts and equipment to build the Los Angeles Aqueduct. It provided a place for the crews to rest and relax as well as receive trainloads of supplies. On the map at left you see Hwy 14 renamed from Hwy 6 earlier in the 1900's. That road is joined by Hwy 395 which is a main arterial north and south thru California. It was a main highway before the freeways like I-5 Which became the main arterial from the Mexican Border to the Canadian Border. It relieved a majority of traffic off the old highways 101, 99 and 395.
It was here in 1943 that the Naval Base at China Lake had its beginnings. The airport in Inyokern served as the primary air strip for the Naval Station for a time and also many of the offices for the base were at the airport.
As the buildings to house the different facilities were completed at China Lake they moved from Inyokern to their permanent Home. Eventually the airport was turned back over to the civilians and provides a link to LA International and other airports in the region. Inyokern is still a crossroads and provides a home for many people in the area.
Original Fire station 73
State Hwy 14 ends US 395 begins
Railroad Depot 1962
Inyokern Ca 1993
West side of Inyhokern looking Northeast. This is the old welding building.
Looking West at Inyokern Rd. and Paul's Automotive
One grant, together with matching funds supplied by the airport and Kern County, has made possible a brand new fire station for the Inyokern Fire Station No. 73. The 5,650 square foot building is nearly complete, with occupancy expected by the end May 2004
Views from the early 50's
Inyokern in the mid-50's
Inyokern Avenue from California Highway 6
Inyokern in the 1930's
The Inyokern Airport. I first became aware of it because of the initial stages of development of China Lake in the 40's. Over the years from around 1950 to 1956 I visited it on weekends because the Dust Devils car club held drag races there. I had many friends who raced and were interested in drag racing in general. Several of them were key players in the conduct of the drag race s.Inyokern became a nationally recognized racing center whch continued hosting races into the 2000's.. The drag races are no longer held there because of the needs of the airport.
In high winds trailers, motor homes and Highway signs are at high risk of being blown down or right off the highway.
A wink of neon in the night, Brady's Cafe on Highway 395 near Inyokern has sold food and gas to travelers pushing out into the desert since 1938. "We're even on the maps the service stations give out," says owner Harvey Welft. The Mobil flying-horse sign, a collector's item is one of a few still in use
Ashtray depicts early China Lake Logo
picture donated by Terry Kokosenski
Want to know more about present day Inyokern?? Here's a place to get that info.