The Kern County Basque Club was started by our four Founding Fathers in 1944. The clubhouse below was the first meeting place after April 1948.
Today the clubhouse is located at 2301 South Union in Bakersfield, California.
In April 1948 the old clubhouse was entered into the books as an acquisition in the amount of $2000. In 1950 a water well worth $534 was added. The use of the building prior to this date was on a rent or loan basis. The depreciation was set up for a ten year life which incidentally happened to prove about right. On dance Saturdays the ladies made ham and mustard or cheese and mayonnaise sandwiches that were sold along with beer and pop during intermission. The men went to the hall on Stine Road to sweep out the current rodent and spider tenants that had moved in within the prior month. At nine PM the crowds began to arrive to dance and listen to the music of Lydia Moynier, Piano; Layne Moynier, drums; and Harry Chamberlain on the saxophone.
In 1955 all records of the Kern County Basque Club, Inc. were discovered missing and have never been found. However, the 1956 administration of Steve Eyherabide, President and Mary Jane Iribarren, Sec.-Tres. picked up the unpaid bills and finished that first year showing a profit of $921 and a net worth of Corporation of $3,528 which included building and land. The next group with Castor Iribarren, President and Catherine Erreca, Sec.-Treas. started the Building Fund savings account with a deposit of $1,000. The following year the clubhouse was sold for $3,500 and the money deposited in this same Building Fund account.
From 1958 to 1974, a sixteen year period, this bank account grew to $18,000. In August of 1974, then President Jean Errassarret Jr. and Sec./Treasurer Jo Frances Ansolabehere signed escrow papers for the Corporation to purchase the Rainbow Gardens that has been developed into Club House #2.
Of the total of $18,000, $15,000 was applied to the $60,000 purchase of this building and $3,000 was kept in reserve for lumber, paint, and cases of razor blades. During 1974 a profit of $13,000 was realized that was used in part to build the “Echola” at the Kern County Fairgrounds. Since that time the bulk of yearly income is comprised from the sale of Basque food at the fair and the annual Memorial Day Basque Festival that you are now attending.
Within five years of this 1974 purchase an additional adjoining three acres of land was purchased and became the picnic area along with outside restrooms and the shower building. “Gure Amentsa” the handball court, the bleachers, storage building all became not only our dream but a reality. However, “Gure Amentsa” is still growing. The payment of the last ten thousand dollar mortgage, the completion of the parking area, remodeling of our bar area and exterior of the building itself to give the appearance of Basque architecture, are only a few of our continuing dream. During 1982 the new entry was made as well as adding a walk-in freezer.