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Exploring the Past


Spring History Week


One hour from Bakersfield, deep in the Tehachapi Mountains, Rankin Ranch is one of the oldest and largest family owned ranches in California, and its owners want to share its rich heritage with all who visit. The ranch will host its first-ever Spring History Week, April 13 through 18, with a special look into the six generations of Rankins who have lived and worked on the 31,000 acre cattle and guest ranch.

A working cattle ranch for 145 years, and a guest ranch since 1965, Rankin Ranch's Bill and Glenda Rankin want their guests to experience the flavor of the Old West. First settled by Walker Rankin Sr. in 1863, Quarter Circle U Rankin Ranch produces cattle, hay, and row crops and welcomes guests from all over the world.

Spring History Week will include the normal ranch activities such as horseback riding, fishing, hiking, or just relaxing mingled with many guest speakers sharing insight into the ranch's history and local culture.
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"Kern County is growing and developing, but we still have those roots in our heritage here. We still have a small town/farm atmosphere," Glenda says. "People that come to the guest ranch are interested in the history of the family and how the ranch has stayed in the same family for that many years."

With four children and five grandchildren still living and working on the ranch, the Rankins feel "incredibly blessed" with their heritage. Each of the Rankin's children have taken on different aspects of the ranch operation cattle, branding, farming, guest ranch management and now their grandchildren, especially the two older ones, are finding their niche. "Our children were given chores at a very early age. I think the fact that they were included at a young age gave them a sense of pride in the ranch," Glenda says. "Working on a ranch is long hours, you have to be totally dedicated to the ranch and farming to live this life. It is a special way of life."

Spring History Week will include the normal ranch activities such as horseback riding, fishing, hiking, or just relaxing mingled with many guest speakers sharing insight into the ranch's history and local culture. Some of the featured speakers include the Rankin family matriarch, third generation, Alice Rankin Beard, a local Paiute Native American and the co-chair of the Kern River Paiute Council, Patsy Henry; and local author Bob Powers' wife, Marge Powers. Entertainment will also be provided by Walt Richards and Paula Strong of "Trails & Rails."

To participate in Spring History Week, a one-night minimum stay is required.

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