Kernville rises from the lake bed

Posted at 11:59 AM, Feb 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-23 14:59:04-05

Kernville, or Whiskey Flat as it was called back in 1860, was shaken in 1953.

Plans for Lake Isabella caused dozens of families to pick up and move, some quite literally.

"The entire house-- yeah they just picked them up and moved them, well those that they didn't destroy," Kernville Resident Barbara Hinkey said.

The lake took over-- flooded over everything that used to be. Now, thanks to the drought, the remnants of the town are peeking through the weeds.

The town was made of electricians, gold miners and store owners. Here Hinkey says she is transported back to her childhood.

"The principal's office was here to the right-- this was where the nurse was so if you were faking being sick you'd be in here," HInkey said.

Barbara described how the school used to have an iron railing, how her brothers were born across the street in the doctor's office. 

Hinkey got emotional looking down on her old stomping grounds, saying the many memories speak to her each time she comes to visit.

When she looks for her home now, it's indecipherable in the brush.

Now she says sharing her memories is the only way to keep her town alive.