Tales from the Vault #3

In the last edition of Tales from the Vault I mentioned the vast inventory of oral histories on deposit in the Historical Research Center. Not only do these oral histories cover CSUB faculty, they also document the history of the San Joaquin Valley. Interviewees who experienced the Dust Bowl, farming, and early life in Kern County are represented. One of the more intriguing interviews is that of Mary Holman Dodge, the first woman to be hired by the Bakersfield Police Department.

Mary Holman was born in Bakersfield on September 23, 1912. She was raised in Bakersfield and attended school at Hawthorne, Bryant, Emerson, and Kern County High School. After graduating high school she attended Bakersfield College before transferring to the University of California where she graduated in 1933 with a degree in mathematics. She didn’t plan on a career in law enforcement. After signing a contract to teach mathematics in Pleasanton she traveled back to Bakersfield for the summer. Her family knew she loved murder mysteries and at dinner one night she was asked “why don’t you take the examination for police woman Mary.” Mary thought about it saying that “I loved to solve things by deductive reasoning. I got an A in logic in college.” So she went down to the police department and registered for the exam.

Do you want to learn more about Mary? Her story along with other remarkable women is on display now in the exhibit First Women of Kern in the Historical Research Center. The exhibit runs through the end of June. Come visit us! You never know what you’ll discover!

In the last edition of Tales from the Vault I mentioned the vast inventory of oral histories on deposit in the Historical Research Center. Not only do these oral histories cover CSUB faculty, they also document the history of the San Joaquin Valley. Interviewees who experienced the Dust Bowl, farming, and early life in Kern County are represented. One of the more intriguing interviews is that of Mary Holman Dodge, the first woman to be hired by the Bakersfield Police Department.

Mary Holman was born in Bakersfield on September 23, 1912. She was raised in Bakersfield and attended school at Hawthorne, Bryant, Emerson, and Kern County High School. After graduating high school she attended Bakersfield College before transferring to the University of California where she graduated in 1933 with a degree in mathematics. She didn’t plan on a career in law enforcement. After signing a contract to teach mathematics in Pleasanton she traveled back to Bakersfield for the summer. Her family knew she loved murder mysteries and at dinner one night she was asked “why don’t you take the examination for police woman Mary.” Mary thought about it saying that “I loved to solve things by deductive reasoning. I got an A in logic in college.” So she went down to the police department and registered for the exam.

Do you want to learn more about Mary? Her story along with other remarkable women is on display now in the exhibit First Women of Kern in the Historical Research Center. The exhibit runs through the end of June. Come visit us! You never know what you’ll discover!