One of California's fastest growing cities, Bakersfield is located on the Kern River in the southern part of the San Joaquin Valley, 112 miles north of Los Angeles. It is the center of an area rich in resources including oil, cotton, alfalfa, and fruit. Industries include iron, steel, cotton goods, and electronic components. Founded in 1859 and incorporated in 1873, the city began to grow after the discovery of oil in the Kern River fields in 1899. Bakersfield is the seat of Kern County.