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PXL is Having a Plaquing!


In conjunction with our Fall Doin's, on October 6, 2007,

at 11 a.m., in Kernville, PXL will honor the life and works

of the late cowboy-historian Bob Powers, 

by erecting a monument in his honor.

He Wants to Go Clamping

      A native of Kernville (formerly "Whiskey Flat"), Powers wrote nine books detailing the work, lives and loves of the pioneers of the Kern River Basin and the Southern California High Desert region east of the Sierras; including the Death and Owens Valleys and Mojave.  His written work detailed the development of these farming, ranching and mining communities from the 1850's onward -- and the people who gave them life.  More than just broad stroke descriptions of the Greenhorn Mountain Goldrush, the development of the railroad and the establishment of the big cattle ranches, powers was also intent on focusing on the small details of everyday living for the pioneer folk: the cowboys, the ranchers, the merchants and moonshiners; the preachers, the outlaws, the mountain men and sheriffs, that settled Kern and the High Desert. Powers description of the harnessing of the Kern River for energy production, including the flooding of Old Isabella to create the lake that now lies over it, remains some of his best work.

      The nine titles include: Desert Country (2002); Cowboy Country (2000); High Desert Communities (1999); This Old House (1995); Indian Country (1981); Hot Springs Country (1979); Kern River Country (1979); North Fork Country (1974); and South Fork Country (1971). 

     Each of Bob’s books is still in print and available for purchase  individually or as a set directly through Marge (Mrs. Bob) Powers.  Marge has been kind enough to provide us with a detailed description of each volume along with purchase information.  Reading it will give you a good idea of why we think Bob and his work deserve a good plaquing.


Check back for details on the erection.  The official flyer for the Clampout is posted under "details" above.

As usual, watch your Ps & Qs.  Civilians are expected to be present.  Satisfactory!

No sweat Pete. You're bound to get him next time.




Bob Powers


The History of the Valleys

Peter Lebeck is honoring Bob Powers with an erection.

And High Country Communities of the High Desert

Bob was born in old Kernville, a town nestled in the Southern Sierras of California. That town in 1952 was buried beneath the waters of Lake Isabella. Bob is the fifth generation descendant of Kern River Pioneers. The pages of his books are rich with tales of heroic, lovable and sometimes strange people who for generations have inhabited this rugged and isolated grandeur.

In a matching set of nine beautiful volumes of authentic words and pictures, Bob Powers has superlatively fulfilled his dedication and commitment to the story of his beloved corner of the Old West.


SOUTH FORK COUNTRY, (1971) 5th printing.

This is the story of cowboys and field hands who worked the cattle, drove the hayrakes, rode fence and got roaring drunk. It is the story of women, of their devotion to the men they married, to the children they bore, and to the community which was an extension of their families. South Fork Country is a love story in the truest sense of the word. The love story of men for the land, for their families and their neighbors. It is one man's tender monument to a memorable way of life.

Large deluxe format; more than 150 illustrations; maps.

--$25.00 Tax Included (add $2.00 for mailing).


NORTH FORK COUNTRY, (1974) 3rd printing.

Bob Powers tells about Old Kernville, (once known as Whiskey Flat) ranchers, merchants, miners, preachers, outlaws and sheriffs. In bold strokes he tells the story of how the Sierra fury of the Kern River was subdued and harnessed by the Southern California Edison Company to provide electric power for the cities of Southern California. But not at all forgotten are the humbler townsmen, farmers, teachers, ordinary citizens, and eccentrics who have lived out their lives on the upper Kern. The wildlife of the high mountain country comes under dramatic scrutiny, along with the "'mountain men", the trappers and professional hunters. The Forest Service which vigilantly has battled to preserve and save it all, is intimately portrayed.

In exploring the North Fork Country with Bob Powers, and getting acquainted with its people and places, you, as a reader will savor and enjoy the rare privileges of entering the delightful world which he loves and describes with such charm.

Large deluxe format; more than 200 illustrations; maps,

--$25.00 Tax Included (add $2.00 for mailing).


KERN RIVER COUNTRY, (1979) 3rd printing.

In the mid-18th century a Spanish doctor discovered gold among the sands of the Kern River where the precious mineral had been washed down the side of Greenhorn Mountain. But it wasn't until the fall of 1854 that the outside world heard of the new El Dorado; and another gold rush was on! Although the excitement waned and many miners left discouraged, some stayed on to raise families and crops along the Kern. For 100 years the area continued to attract those who could no more be kept from gold than a steer from a clover field. A holdover from these rough and tumble mining days were the "Shootin' Walkers." Their story rivals that of the feud between the Hatfields and McCoys. Dust from the freight wagons of the gold rush had barely settled when the Greenhorn Trail was again brought alive by the dusty white tide of sheep. Their owners used the old emigrant trail as the first part of their yearly great circuit.

The Kern River Country story continues down old Highway 178 with the mining town of Bodfish. and includes Miracle. Delonegaha, and Democrat Hot Springs. The book closes with the building of Edison's "Kern River Number One" power plant and one of the most spectacular rescues of all time.

Large deluxe format; more than 100 illustrations; maps,

--$25.00 Tax Included (add $2,00 for mailing).


HOT SPRINGS COUNTRY. (1979) 3rd printing.

Full of action, rare pictures, and maps, Hot Springs Country begins with the entry of the first pioneers to the region in 1843. The descendants of over 40 of these family names still live in Kern County in the 20th century. The oddballs and the odd happenings in and about "Hot Springs Valley" (the present day Lake Isabella area) become privy to readers of this fascinating book. The text traces the stories of such diverse occupations as the U.S. Forest Service and bootlegging, and how the town of Old Isabella was finally drowned beneath the waters of the lake formed by the big federal dam. It tells how the present town of Isabella was born again south of the lake margin; what it was like then, and what it is like now. But above all, it talks of the people and doings of Kern County.

Large deluxe format; more than 100 illustrations; maps,

--$25.00 Tax Included (add $2.00 for mailing).


INDIAN COUNTRY, (1981) 3rd printing.

The legend of the Kern River Valley would be incomplete without the titles of the Tubatulabal Indians who discovered the lush wilderness of the Kern many centuries before the search for gold brought the first white men stumbling over the mountain passes. Bob's life-long friendship with members of the local tribes dates beck to days when they attended classes together at the little South Fork School. These men rode side by side as ranch hands, ate together, shared campfires, and celebrated the arrival of Friday nights.

Bob invites the reader to take part in a hunt for table meat, a fishing expedition, and the annual fall trek to gather piñon nuts. Perhaps the most touching moments are the interviews with older members of the tribe which reveal the almost childlike reverence with which they feared and worshiped the spirits. They tell of supernatural guardians to be called on for protection. We learn of adolescent rites of passage, the religion of 'Jimsonweed', the year-long ceremony of death, and the uncanny powers of the witch doctor and the tribal clown.

Large deluxe format; more than 100 illustrations; maps; over 80 plants used

for food and medicine are listed with both their common and botanical names,

--$25.00 Tax Included (add $2.00 for mailing).


COWBOY COUNTRY, (2000) 2nd printing.

The West gave us our best-loved national hero, the cowboy. Cowboy Country is about this proud man on horseback and his equally colorful employer, the rancher; who have both played such a large part in putting food

on America's table. The text carries the reader back 200 years to a string of Spanish ranchos along the California coastline and cattle drives to California after the gold rush. It gives the history of the San Joaquin Valley ranches; including Miller and Lux, Kern County Land Company, and the Tejon which has continued to be one

of California's leading ranches since 1859. Much of the book takes place in the author's home-range, the Kern River Valley, where his family have run cattle for the past 140 years. The death notice of the cowboy started appearing in print before the turn of the 20th century. However, Bob shows that as long as there are cattle and open range to run them on, there will be a need for cowboys and cattlemen.

145 pages in a large deluxe format; 200 photos and maps (30 in full color),

--$35.00 Tax Included (add $2.00 for mailing).


THIS OLD HOUSE, (1995) 1st printing.

Something new, that is very old. In his latest book, author Bob Powers tells us about the "Smith" home. It's a story filled with the sights and sounds of people who lived in the authentic old west. Mostly, it is the

intriguing history of four generations of women who inhabited "This Old House". The book tells about their daily chores; making soap, washing clothes down by the ditch, cooking in the fireplace and caring for the everyday needs of their families.

This book is alive with the life and hardships of bygone days. In storybook fashion, with quotes from diaries and letters, we are shown how the pioneering Smith family built a life, a ranch and a legacy of love and kindness that has worked its way down to generations living today. Throughout the book the "old west" comes alive as we read about how life was lived "back then."

Large format; more than 70 historic photos and illustrations,

--$25.00 Tax Included (add $2.00 for mailing).


HIGH COUNTRY COMMUNITIES, (1999) 1st printing.

After writing seven books on the Kern River Valley, Bob now leads his readers through fourteen communities that surround "his" beloved valley. Bob has included the Kern County communities of Havilah, Breckenridge, Walker's Basin, Loraine, Caliente, Tehachapi, Woody, Granite, Paso Flat and Glennville; as well as the Tulare County communities of White River, Jack Ranch, California Hot Springs, and Kennedy Meadows. He describes the personality of each community, with their happenings and special groups of individuals that make the area unique.

Bob tells of pioneers who crossed the continent in covered wagons, on horseback or on foot; fortune hunters who came around the horn by sailing vessels in search of riches, individuals and families who simply were looking for a better life.

Bob discusses the gold mining towns, cattlemen and sheepmen, railroad construction to Tehachapi, the isolated existence of the people of Kennedy Meadows, and the day to day life of the common people and how they survived through hard times. Some of these families have been in the same location for six, and even seven generations, others left soon after they arrived, either on their own or with the help of others.

Large deluxe format: more than 170 historic photos; maps,

--$25.00 Tax Included (add $2.00 for mailing).


DESERT COUNTRY, (2002) 1st printing.

Bob's set of nine books would not be complete without the inclusion of the high desert and its pioneers. Located east of the Sierra Mountains between Owens Lake on the north, Mojave on the South and east to Death Valley, is an area rich in lore and stories waiting to be told. You will read about how towns were built and how some died. You'll be enchanted by word pictures as you visit Skidoo, Darwin, Garlock, Ballarat, Death Valley and a host of others. You're going to have a tough time putting this one down.

Large deluxe format; more than 130 historic photos and maps,

--$25.00 Tax Included (add $2.00 for mailing).

9 Book Set $235.00 plus $5.00 postage


PHONE 760-376-2329



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