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—  Unincorporated community  —
Havilah is located in California
Location in California
Coordinates: 35°31′04″N 118°31′07″W / 35.51778°N 118.51861°W / 35.51778; -118.51861Coordinates: 35°31′04″N 118°31′07″W / 35.51778°N 118.51861°W / 35.51778; -118.51861
Country United States
State California
County Kern County
Elevation [1] 3,136 ft (956 m)

Havilah is an unincorporated community in Kern County, California.[1] It is located 4 miles (6.4 km) south-southeast of Miracle Hot Springs,[2] at an elevation of 3136 feet (956 m).[1]

Havilah is located in the mountains along Caliente-Bodfish Road between the Walker Basin and Bodfish. [3] The place name comes from the Biblical story describing Havilah as a place where there is gold. [4]

The area is bordered to the east and west by Sequoia National Forest lands and is located at the junction of Havilah Canyon and Haight Canyon. Elevations at the floor of the canyon range from approximately 3,050 feet (930 m) AMSL to 3,400 feet (1,000 m). Havilah Canyon runs roughly north-south and mountain peaks to the east and west are over 1,000 feet (300 m) higher than the roadway, which runs along the floor of Havilah Canyon. King Solomons Ridge lies to the east; Hobo Ridge lies to the west. [3] Snow may be present during winter months.

The ZIP Code is 93518, and the community is inside area code 661.





The circa 1868 courthouse was restored in 1976 and serves as a museum today. The museum is open weekends April through September. Photo circa 2007.

European settlement of this forested area began about 1864 when Asbury Harpending settled here. [5] Gold deposits had been discovered in the area. Havilah was the county seat at the founding of Kern County in 1866. It remained so until 1872 when county government was moved to Bakersfield. [6]

Several circa 1860s buildings still stand today. A courthouse (c1868), cemetery, and school are present. Foundations, and signs marking locations of other historic buildings, line both sides of Caliente-Bodfish Road.

The first Kern County newspaper was the Havilah Courier which began publication in 1866.[7]

Nearby historic mining communities include Loraine, (originally named Paris) and Twin Pines. [8]

A post office operated at Havilah from 1866 to 1918.[2]


Several wildland fires have occurred in the area. [9 ]

In 2000, a Geo-Seis Helicopters, Inc. Aerospatiale AS 316B transiting the area suffered a tail rotor cable turnbuckle malfunction. The aircraft was working on a lightning fire suppression effort. The pilot safely landed in a pasture two miles (3 km) north of USFS Havilah Work Center. [10]


Accessible by car, Havilah is just over 20 miles (32 km) driving distance from the intersection of State Route 58 and Caliente-Bodfish Road. It is just over 5 driving miles from Bodfish on Caliente-Bodfish Road. There is a local tradition among drivers on Caliente-Bodfish Road: every driver waves at the driver of every other passing vehicle.

The Sequoia National Forest Work Center on Caliente-Bodfish Road circa 2007.

A US Forest Service service center is situated along Caliente-Bodfish Road at 35°30′38″N 118°31′06″W / 35.51056°N 118.51833°W / 35.51056; -118.51833. [3]

US Geological Survey plots several mines nearby. Names of local mines include: [3]

  • Southern Cross Mine
  • Friday Mine
  • Uncle Sam Mine
  • McKeadney Mine

Districts, zones, boundaries, and services

Havilah shares its postal ZIP Code, 93518, with the nearby communities of Caliente and Loraine. [11] The community is within the Kern County Air Pollution Control District. [12]

The community falls within the Battalion 7 area of the Kern County Fire Department. It is listed by the California Fire Alliance as being at high risk to wildfire. [9 ]

Commercial electric power is supplied by Southern California Edison. [13]


  1. ^ a b c U.S. Geological Survey Geographical Names Information System: Havilah, California
  2. ^ a b Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Quill Driver Books. p. 1045. ISBN 9781884995149.  
  3. ^ a b c d Map: Miracle Hot Springs, California, 7.5-minute quadrangle, US Geological Survey, 1989.
  4. ^ Hoover, Mildred Brooke et al., "Kern County," Historic Spots in California, Fourth Edition, (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1990) pp. 127 ISBN 0804717346 or Gudde, Erwin G, California Place Names: The Origin and Etymology of Current Geographic Names, 4th ed.(Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1998) pp. 161. ISBN 0520213165
  5. ^ Founder's name from Gudde, Erwin G, California Place Names: The Origin and Etymology of Current Geographic Names, 4th ed.(Los Angeles, University of California Press, 1998) pp. 161.
  6. ^ "Havilah: Historic Landmark #279," State of California, Department of Parks and Recreation, Office of Historic Preservation, 2007. This information is duplicated on at least one other state web site and in the National Register for Historic Places.
  7. ^ Cook, Fred S., "Little Town of Havilah,"Historic Legends of the Kern River Valley, (Volcano, California: California Traveler, Inc., 1975) pp.18.
  8. ^ Hoover, Mildred Brooke et al., "Kern County," Historic Spots in California, Fourth Edition, (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1990) pp. 127.
  9. ^ a b Kern County Fire Department, Wildland Fire Management Plan, 2004.
  10. ^ PDF describing this safety event.
  11. ^ Based on 2000 US Census Bureau data and verified by checking the US Postal Service web site.
  12. ^ Based on ZIP Code data made available by the California Air Resources Board. One other reference says it's in the "San Joaquin Valley APCD."
  13. ^ Information based on California Public Utilities Commission regulatory filings.


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