Kern County Taps its history

November 27, 2011

In downtown Taft, the new Oilworker Monument pays tribute to “those who supplied the energy to build a nation.” It was unveiled in 2010 and features life-size brass sculptures of laborers.

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Kern County’s Rich Oil Field of History

November 27, 2011

Anywhere else, linking an aromatic cup of coffee and a gooey glob of oil would quickly kill a restaurant. Not so in Taft, Calif., the Taft Crude Coffee House is a popular stop for hot coffee or iced mocha.

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Oilworker Monument to Become a Family

September 15, 2011

Taft’s Oilworker Monument is going to become a family. In a little over month, two new figures – a mother and young boy bringing lunch to one of the figures working on the the derrick — will be unveiled at the bronze monument on Sixth Street at Rails to Trails. A miniature of the new figures was unveiled on Wednesday at the Taft Chamber of Commerce.

Oilworker Monument Becomes a Family

September 15, 2011

In a little over month, two new figures – a mother and young boy bringing lunch to one of the figures working on the the derrick — will be unveiled at the bronze monument on Sixth Street at Rails to Trails. A miniature of the new figures was unveiled on Wednesday at the Taft Chamber of Commerce.

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Aberdeen Artist, Museum Collaborate on Statues

July 24, 2011

The Dacotah Prairie Museum’s efforts will be displayed in California when Ben Victor’s sculpture of a pioneer mother and son is installed. The lifesize statue is a second component for a monument to oil workers that Victor, artist in residence at Northern State University, previously did for Taft, Calif.

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Monument Unveiled, Celebrated

October 19, 2010

Every Oildorado Days has its signature event. The 2010 Diamond Jubilee edition will always be remembered for its oilworker monument dedication that attracted an estimated 2,000 people to the corner of Fifth and Supply Row Friday, October 15.

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New Monument Honors Taft Oil Workers

October 16, 2010

Downtown Taft’s imposing new centerpiece features tough-as-bronze figures that stand 8 feet tall and wear historically accurate, 1910-era dress.

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New Monument Honors Taft Oil Workers

October 15, 2010

The audience at the dedication saved their biggest applause for the man who created the sculpture, Benjamin Victor, who was selected for the job after a nationwide search. Born in Taft, Victor and his family moved when he was young to Bakersfield, where he graduated from Foothill High before going on to Northern State University in South Dakota.
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Taft Celebrates 100 Years With Oilworkers Monument

October 15, 2010

It’s no secret that black gold runs deep in the blood of the city of Taft. And if oil is its blood, then the oil worker is its heart, now enshrined for all to see.

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Oil Monument: “You’ll just be astounded”

October 14, 2010

An effort that began more than four years ago to salute oil workers past and present has mushroomed into a stunning tribute that none of the organizers ever envisioned.

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The Oilworkers Monument

October 2010

Imagine a town straight out of a John Wayne movie, bustling with men in felt hats, plaid shirts, and denim shirts and denim pants hurrying down the main street for a cold drink and friendly companionship after working 16 hour shifts in the grueling heat and merciless landscape.

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Taft Oilworker Monument

2010

A Vision Becomes Reality. The Taft Oilworker Monument Committee says thank you to everyone from our Black Gold Sponsors to those who bought a brick or contributed to building this living memorial. The spirit that built the oil industry still lives on.

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First Stage of Taft’s Oilworker Monument Takes Shape

August 18, 2010

It’s taken more than four years, but the first stage of the Taft Oil Worker Monument is being assembled. Visitors can catch a peek of the monument base and oil derrick during a ceremony to thank donors scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday at the site and the 10 a.m. Saturday grand opening of the Oildorado Store. The monument will be dedicated to oil workers Oct. 15, which kicks off Oildorado, the city’s 10-day, 100th anniversary party.

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Taft Has Been Gushing Oil for One Hundred Years

Fall 2010

October 15 may be the second most important day in Taft history – the first was when oil was discovered there. Now, during the 100th anniversary of Taft, the largest bronze sculpture in California (the second largest in the western US) will be unveiled on October 15.

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Midway Driller

February 26, 2010

Sculptor Benjamin Victor with the two larger-than-life clay models he is completing to be cast in bronze for the Taft Oilworker Monument.

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Model of Oil Worker Monument on Display

July 8, 2009

A model of the Taft Oilworker Monument is on display at the Kern County Administrative Building through the end of the month. The model, and the actual monument, was designed by Taft native Benjamin Victor, who competed against two other sculptors to get the job. Read full story.

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