The Rest House & The Women of Bakersfield


The Rest House
The Rest House, part of the original construction, provided a public facility for women in the downtown Bakersfield area. Most other buildings in the area did not provide accommodates for women, so the Rest House was an appreciated addition.


Virginia Harrell
Virginia Harrell, the wife of Alfred Harrell, was a member of the Woman’s Club of Bakersfield, established in 1896. Women across the Bakersfield area joined the club and used its influence to help the community with their philanthropic work. Additionally, the women of Bakersfield were key participants in wartime efforts that benefitted their community and the nation. Some of these efforts were organized with the help of the Bakersfield Californian newspaper while it was housed in this location.


This 1944 article from the Californian shows the active role women took in the community, particularly during the war years.


Womens club
First executive board of The Woman’s Club of Bakersfield, 1896. Virginia Harrell, the wife of Alfred Harrell, is pictured in the middle row, second from the right.


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