Haggard’s birthday bash raises funds to move historical house to Pioneer Village

Amber Hayden, Photographer

Even with the absence of Merle Haggard, his birthday was celebrated by guests at the Kern County Museum on April 6. The event was hosted by Citizens Preserving History try to raise funds to move the Haggard family home once more.

Diane Sharman, Cofounder of Citizens Preserving History, commented about where they wanted to see the home placed.

“We would like to see the boxcar placed alongside the other railroad area inside Pioneer Village,” she said.

Haggard may not have been there, but his sister Lillian Haggard Rea, still a local of Bakersfield, was there to celebrate with about 50 other attendees.

Rea had also been in attendance at the dedication even earlier that day at Harley Davidson, which a plaque for Haggard was embossed on a rock outside of the shop letting people know that Haggard was an Oildale native.

Rea explained that the home was a very happy home for them also explaining how the boxcar became their home.

“I know it was supposed to be a temporary home

while we built the proper house in the front of the property, but it got so comfortable we kept postponing it,” she said

When she had spoken with the carpenter that will be working to help restore the boxcar she had assured him that she would be there to help give ideas and help.

“I look forward to getting a paint brush and getting that place cleaned up.”

Citizens Preserving History along with Rea are still hoping for a June move for the boxcar, but according to Rea, “You can’t hurt a boxcar.”