In the history of Old Town Kern and Bakersfield, there have been many women worthy of praise and for their part as “nurturing mothers” of the community. Colonel Thomas Baker, the founder of Bakersfield, remarried a woman by the name of Mrs. Ellen M. Whalen Baker. Mrs. Baker, “Mother of Bakersfield,” lived in Bakersfield her entire life until her death in 1924.
Another woman who was considered a mother figure is Grace Elizalde. Since the early 1930s, Grace welcomed and watched over many immigrants. The impact she has made is legendary and can still be felt today. Today her descendants continue that community service as they follow in Grace’s footsteps, still operating the Noriega Hotel.
More recently, a modern day matriarchal figure can be found in Old Town Kern. Mayie Maitia has been operating the Wool Growers Restaurant for over 60 years. Thank You Mayie, for all you have done for Bakersfield!