The migrants who came to
California from Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Missouri and lived at the
Weedpatch Camp brought with them their religious culture, a unique language
their music and food representative to their regions. They also brought
with them strong ethical and work values from the rural south west to
The Community Hall was the scene of
church gatherings and social events within the camp. It has an open beam
ceiling, wood flooring and a small stage.
The camp had its own Post Office.
the movie "The Grapes of Wrath," it was used as the manager's office.
Attached to the post office is one of the original
tin buildings. It was used as
a medical clinic.
The camp also had its own Library
The Community Hall, Post Office, and the Library were
built by the W.P.A. in 1935 are all now on the National Register of Historic
Places. There has been a roof added over the original
shingles of the Community Hall. This was done to protect the integrity of
the interior of the building. Other than this, these buildings have
remained the same since they were built.
The two smaller buildings have been moved to within
the confines of the fence surrounding the community hall. This creates
an historic park where prearranged tours can be conducted.
The 1973 cabins became antiquated, requiring heavy maintenance and were
replaced with modern duplexes when the entire camp was rebuilt. Though
closed for the construction period, the camp re-opened in 2005 and carries
on as a home for migrant workers, with one corner fenced off and dedicated
to history. See: Restoration Plans
These buildings have stood vacant for a number of
years. They are still in the confines of the Sunset Labor Camp. The
Community Building is fenced in alone, and the Post Office and the Library are
closer to the main gate and fence in together. They are in restorable
condition, but are in need of being brought up to code, which the Housing
authority of Kern County is planning to do. The very existence of these
buildings is a significant reference to Kern County's rich historical heritage.