Shafter, California

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Shafter is a city in Kern County, California, United States. It is located 18 miles (29 km) west-northwest of Bakersfield.[2] The population was 12,736 at the 2000 census. Wired telephone numbers in Shafter follow the format (661) 746-xxxx and the ZIP Code is 93263.

The city is located along State Route 43. Suburbs of Shafter include areas or communities named:



The city of Shafter began as a loading dock along the Santa Fe Railroad right-of-way. The community was named for General William Rufus Shafter who commanded US Forces in Cuba during the Spanish-American War.[2] Property was sold beginning in 1914 and the city incorporated in 1938.

The first post office opened in 1898, moved in 1902, closed in 1905.[2] A new postal service started in 1914.[2]

Also of historical note, Shafter is home to Minter Field, which began operations in June 1941 and saw heavy use during World War II. Approximately 7,000 troops were stationed at the airstrip which hosted up to 600 prisoners of war as well. Today it is publicly owned and administered by the Minter Field Airport District and serves as an industrial center and airport for crop dusters and private aircraft. The Minter Field Museum is maintained on location as well.

The Shafter Historical Society also maintains two other museums. The Green Hotel and the Shafter Depot Museum emphasize various aspects of the daily lives of Shafter residents in years past.


Much of Shafter's economy is based on agriculture and ag-related industry. Local crops include cotton, almonds, pistachios and alfalfa as well as some carrots, potatoes and other vegetables. Cotton and potatoes have a special historical significance for the town of Shafter as leading industries in different periods of the town's development.

Aside from agriculture, Shafter is host to a variety of different industries and business. Elk Corporation Roofing company maintains a manufacturing plant in Shafter and Target maintains a 700-acre (2.8 km2) distribution center set upon 1,700,000 sq ft (158,000 m2) of concrete.[3] Shafter is also home to the International Trade and Transportation Center (ITTC), built to facilitate easier Central Valley access to ports in Long Beach and Los Angeles via the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway.[4]

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