Homestead historical landmark destroyed by fire

Homestead historical landmark destroyed by fireBy LAURA Austin

News Review Staff Writer

Sunday night the charming facade of the historic Homestead Restaurant that overlooked over the Indian Wells Valley for over eight decades, burned to the ground.

A call came in at approximately 10:30pm on Sunday night and Kern County Fire Department as well as China Lake Fire Department were dispatched to reports of a structure fire just south of the Indian Wells Valley Brewery on State Highway CA-14, Inyokern.

Kern County and China Lake Fire arrived on the scene to find the historic Homestead Restaurant fully engulfed in flames.

The firefighters worked through into the early morning hours of Monday to extinguish the blaze. Units from California Highway Patrol and Kern County Sheriff Department and Caltrans secured the area, shutting down State Highway 14 South bound lane until the scene was deemed to be safe.

In total, firefighters were able to save all adjacent structures and the incident ended up approximately 1/2 acre of grass and brush that caught fire along with the Homestead restaurant.

The original Homestead Restaurant was built on Highway 14 in about 1920 by Mrs. Van Dyke Gordon. That building burned and was replaced about 1925.

The late Dick Lewis, owner of the Homestead property, kept it in operation until 2005 when it closed.

The Homestead was regarded as a good place to have a steak and enjoy a great view of the valley.

Lewis was from a pioneer family coming to the Indian Wells Valley setting in Inyokern in 1935.

The Homestead, a historical landmark, was in operation for nearly 85 years.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and no injuries were reported.

Laura Austin Photo: 2AM Monday morning firefighters continue to extinguish hot spots that remain of the fire that ravaged the historic Homestead Restaurant.

Story First Published: 2022-04-15