The Best of Places

Oilworker Monument

Taft is the site of the largest bronze statue in California, the 40-foot Oilworker Monument that honors the hard-working men who built Kern County's vast oil industry. The massive structure, found at the intersection of Supply Row and Sixth Street adjacent to a public greenbelt, is highlighted by three eight-foot bronze workers rendered in exquisite detail.

Topped by a bronze derrick treated to look like wood, the Monument not only looks realistic, but is historically accurate - right down to nuts and bolts made to same size as those used to build derricks more than a century ago.

Sculptor Benjamin Victor, a Taft native, achieved national prominence at age 26 when he became the youngest artist to ever have a sculpture displayed in the National Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol. With expressive features, exquisite detail, dynamic gesture, and through-provoking content, this latest work is sure to take its place among the great masterpieces of art history.

In October 2011, there was an unveiling ceremony of two additional scultupes to the Taft Oilworkers Monument. The newest additions are a woman and child completing the monument. Surrounding by bricks and plaques honoring oilworkers, oil companies, and their families, this monument is a must see when visiting Kern County.

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