SALES OFFICE for the brand-new community of California City photographed in its early days.


California City in History: Decade of 1965-1975

Countdown to 40th Anniversary


Editor's note: This is the first in a series on the history of California City, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary on Dec. 10th.

CALIFORNIA CITY - California City began its history on December 10, 1965, when the Kern County Board of Supervisors passed a Resolution declaring the City of California City an incorporated city within the County of Kern, and named the officers elected to serve on the Council, the City Clerk and the City Treasurer.

The California City Development Company had previously constructed new homes, the California City Inn, and the California City Community Services District sold $400,000 in bonds to construct the 160-acre Central Park.

In September 1965, ground was broken for the Robert P. Ulrich Elementary School, which opened in January, 1966.

In 1968, the MERBISC building opened in Central Park (now the Community Center). If you know what M.E.R.B.I.S.C. stands for, you're an old-timer. Just in case you forgot after all these years it means "Most Extraordinary Recreational Bargain in Southern California".

Original MERBISC Poster on display at California City Real Estate.

In August 1968 the Lakeview Mobile Home Park opened. In October of that year, the Cal Republic Bank opened in the Aspen Mall, where the Fitness Center is now.

In 1969, the city's fire station was constructed, and the first phase of Applewood Homes opened for sale.

In 1970, construction was started on the Holiday Inn, as well as the Pro Shop on the Par 3 golf course, later to become the Museum Society's first museum. It burned to the ground in 1981.

1971 was a busy year. The Aspen Mall opened with a 10-day celebration and street dances. The Holiday Inn opened for business and the Showcase Theater opened with the blockbuster movie, "Airport".

The California City Medical Center opened in 1973, and the Municipal Dedication of the California City Airport was celebrated as the development company turned it over to city operation.

On December 6, 1975, a portion of the 20 Mule Team Trail was designated as a National Historic Trail by the Secretary of the Interior, and the current City Hall opened on the 10th Anniversary of the City on December 10, 1975.

It was a very busy decade.

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