The Beale Memorial Clock Tower was donated to the City of Bakersfield by Truxtun Beale in memory of his mother, Mary Edwards Beale, in 1904. Mr. Beale received his inspiration for the tower when he was ambassador to Spain and presented the plans to the City for the Tower to be erected at the intersection of 19th and Chester Avenue. Many people were against building the Tower, citing traffic flow problems, and the city denied his request. After a month of discussions, the city agreed to allow Mr. Beale to move the Tower two blocks south at 17th and Chester.
From its dedication until 1952, the Tower was used to showcase patriotic posters (during WW I and II), civic announcements and was always decorated for the Christmas Season (once as a bright red, brick chimney with Santa coming out of the top).
On July 21, 1952, a powerful 7.3 earthquake hit the surrounding areas of Bakersfield and on August 22, 1952, Bakersfield was directly hit by a 5.8 earthquake, destroying many buildings, including the Beale Tower. The only original parts to survive the quake were the clock works, bell, iron stairway, balcony railings, arch grillwork and some bricks.
In 1961, local citizens formed the Beale Memorial Clock Tower Restoration Committee in order to build a replica of the Tower. The original parts were used in the rebuilding of the Tower at the Kern County Museum on Chester Avenue. The new Beale Memorial Clock Tower was dedicated on December 13, 1964 and continues to represent the best of Bakersfield as a wonderful landmark.
Note: Ornaments may sell out quickly, and when they are gone, back orders will not be accepted. Orders will be accepted only as long as ornaments are available.