The History of Beaumont Ca
During the early 1850s, several surveying parties passed through the area of present-day Beaumont in search of a pass that would connect the east to the Pacific Ocean. The San Gorgonia Pass was discovered in 1853 by a United States government surveying expedition led by Lieutenant R.S. Williamson. The discovery fascinated many who now saw that connecting to the ocean was a possibility. This led to plans for connecting a railway from the Missouri River to the Pacific. By the early 1860’s, the Southern Pacific Railroad had laid tracks through the modern-day location of Beaumont. At the summit of the pass, a site was founded and named Edgar Station after a Doctor from one of the original expedition parties. Edgar Station served as a rest stop for railway travelers from the Mojave Desert on their way to the Los Angeles vicinity. Soon Edgar Station changed its name to San Gorgonio, named by a real estate development company, and it gradually attracted permanent residents.
The quite town of San Gorgonio became incorporated on November 18, 1912. Beaumont adopted its current name which is French for “beautiful mountain”. In 1927, the town had a small population of 857. There was five churches, a public library, a bank, a high school, two local newspapers, several lumber yards, commercial packing houses, and a dehydrating plant. Today the High school is now the city hall and the library still is open in its original building.
The city, one of Riverside County’s largest apple growers, was dubbed “the land of the big red apple” by local residents in its early years. Apple orchards in and around the town expanded to a $200,000 industry by 1930. Beaumont saw a rise in visitors and residents as at that time a little-known nearby city of Palm Springs to the east grew to become a highly popular resort spot in the 1930’s. Beaumont followed suit and tried to capitalize on the tourism by establishing guest ranches.
According to the dates on a 1930-1940’s postcard, the Highlands Springs Guest Ranch offered its guest many activities such as horseback riding, tennis, shuffleboard, ball room dancing and most important, a place to stay the night.
Today, the Highland Springs Guest Ranch is still in operation with The Grand Oak steak House, an award winning dining experience, open for business daily.