Kern County is no stranger to devastating earthquakes. One of the worst was a 7.3 quake that hit the area on July 21, 1952.
Twelve people were killed and there was $60 million in property damage. Tehachapi was hit the hardest, but Bakersfield saw its share of destruction.
One of the buildings that was destroyed was Saba Pro Uniform, which is located on Baker Street in Old Town Kern. Owner Jack Saba was 26 at the time of the quake, but he remembers it like it was yesterday.
“I was in the bed at 4 in the morning and (the quake) threw me right on the floor,” he recalled.
Saba said the damage was everywhere. “Everything went up crazy,” he said. “It was horrible. Homes and things went just like that.”
The men’s store went from being a two story building to one. “That tumbled down,” he said about the building.
At the time, Saba’s father owned the store. Saba said his father was distraught over the loss. However, after that destruction the building came back stronger than ever. “They built it with steel bars,” said Saba, “all along the area here.”
And for three generations the building has stood, serving as a silent story of history and survival.