Merle Haggard and Bonnie Owens’ Former Bakersfield Home for Sale [PICTURES]
Merle Haggard's former Bakersfield, Calif., home is for sale. The 3,600-square-foot house on Brae Burn Drive, just a few doors down from the Bakersfield Country Club, has been on the market for a little over one month.
Bakersfield.com reports that Haggard lived in the home at 4007 Brae Burn Drive for less than two years, with his second wife, Bonnie Owens; his children Dana, Marty, Kelli and Noel; and his mother Flossie. They moved in in June of 1969.
"Talk about culture shock. From Oildale to Bakersfield Country Club. We literally moved to the other side of the tracks," says Kelli Haggard Patterson. "We were very impressed with it. It had a [second-floor] laundry chute, and I remember trying to put our brother Noel into it. It had a huge driveway, and we almost killed ourselves on our bikes riding down it."
Moving to Brae Burn Drive gave the Haggard family their first chance to all live together. Prior to Haggard and Owens' purchase of the house, Haggard's four children -- all from his first marriage, to Leona Hobbs -- lived with their grandmother on the same property where their father grew up, in Oildale, Calif. Meanwhile, Haggard, Owens, Owens' mother and Owens' sons Buddy and Mike -- both from her first marriage, to country artist Buck Owens -- as well as Raymond McDonald, an adopted son of sorts, lived in a different home in Oildale. When Haggard and Owens moved to Brae Burn Drive, Buddy and Mike went to live with their father, and McDonald -- later a close friend and Haggard's sometimes bus driver -- moved back in with his parents.
The fireplace at Haggard's Brae Burn Drive house is featured on the cover of his Christmas Present album. Haggard Patterson recalls the cover being shot "in the middle of June," and the whole family needing to buy Christmas clothes for the photo.
When Haggard put his house on Brae Burn Drive on the market -- after purchasing land on Highway 178, near the Kern River, to build a home -- it sold to Edwin D. Witter Jr. The house, built in 1965, features five bedrooms, three bathrooms, a pool and pool house, a two-car garage and a recording room, the latter possibly created by Haggard by turning what was then a four-car garage into the current two-car setup, according to realtor Andy Lagasse of Watson Realty ERA.
Haggard's former home is listed for $359,000. Readers can flip through the photo gallery above to see the house.