The childhood home of country legend Merle Haggard will be preserved for future generations, thanks to efforts from fans and one local organization.
On July 29, a crowd of spectators watched as crews moved the house from its original location in Bakersfield, Calif. to the Kern County Museum in nearby Oildale. Haggard’s family bought the boxcar from a railroad company in 1935 for just $500. The family then converted it into a modest home where the country star was born just two years later.
Haggard and members of his family, including his sister, Lillian Haggard Rea, were in attendance for the special homecoming. Shortly before cranes moved the boxcar into the sky, Lillian spoke to the crowd of onlookers about her fond memories of her previous home, and said it “represents so much happiness” for the family.
The move to preserve a piece of country music history was made possible by the local organization “Save Hag’s Boxcar,” which has been raising money for the cause over the last seven years. The group was able to make a deal with the Kern County Museum that allowed the boxcar to become part of their “Pioneer Village,” which features restored train engines and cabooses.
According to Bakersfield Now, the museum hopes to have the boxcar on display by October.