(UPI) – Old Kernville is a town that appears to be taken right out of a Western movie – because it was, serving as the backdrop for many classics, featuring the likes of John Wayne, Gene Autry, Hopalong Cassidy and more. While all of the Hollywood glamour has long since left the town, one might not ever guess that it was once completely underwater and has now resurfaced.
“There were people here. There was life here. It survived explorers, massacres, gold rushes, massive floods and tourism,” the Sierra Nevada Business Council wrote on its website. “But it could not survive progress and now sits in silence with very little to let one know that it was even here.”
About 35 miles northeast of Bakersfield, Calif., Old Kernville used to be a thriving community. Previously named Whiskey Flat due to a saloon of the same name, the town sprung up toward the end of the Gold Rush in 1860. It sat in the hills of Lake Isabella and the Kern River, the latter being where it got its new name following a massacre of the local indigenous tribes in 1863, when about 70 settlers killed about 200 Native Americans and exiled hundreds more, according to SFGATE.