Merle Haggard visited his old home recently to lend support and check on the progress of restoration efforts to save the historical Oildale residence that many people in town consider a landmark.
The now rundown house was built by Merle’s father, James Haggard, from an old train boxcar before Merle was born there in 1937.
For those who are restoring “Hag’s Boxcar” the home represents what they love and hope to preserve – the history and pride they have in the Bakersfield Sound which Merle and other musicians from the area were instrumental in creating.
The preservationists working on the house hope to not only save Merle’s childhood home, but revive a sense of history and pride in the town and, as one restorer says, keep Oildale from “slipping into the brine”.
The house should be transferred to Kern County Museum sometime this February and, restored to its old warm and homey self, we’re sure it will be well worth a visit!