Location of Beaumont in Riverside County, California.
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Incorporated||November 18, 1912|
|• Total||30.70 sq mi (79.52 km2)|
|• Land||30.69 sq mi (79.48 km2)|
|• Water||0.01 sq mi (0.04 km2) 0.04%|
|Elevation||2,612 ft (796 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||1,604.46/sq mi (619.54/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-8 (PST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-7 (PDT)|
|GNIS feature IDs||1660318, 2409805|
Beaumont is a city in Riverside County, California, United States, located at a half-mile elevation in the pass area south of Southern California's highest peak, San Gorgonio Mountain, and north of San Jacinto Peak.
Beaumont is bordered on the east by the city of Banning, on the south by the city of San Jacinto, on the west by the city of Calimesa, and on the north by the unincorporated community of Cherry Valley.
During the early 1850s, many surveying parties passed through the vicinity of present-day Beaumont in search of a pass that would connect the east to the Pacific Ocean. The San Gorgonio Pass was discovered in 1853 by a surveying expedition under Lieutenant R.S. Williamson, who was sent by the United States government. Its discovery enthralled many who now saw that connecting to the ocean was a feasible measure and led to plans for connecting a railway from the Missouri River to the Pacific. By the early 1860s, 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 physician 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 sleepy town of San Gorgonio became an incorporated California city on November 18, 1912, and adopted its current name of Beaumont (French for "beautiful mountain"). As of 1927, the town boasted a small population of 857 with five churches, a public library, a bank, a high school, two local newspapers, several lumber yards, commercial packing houses, and a dehydrating plant. 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 the little-known nearby city of Palm Springs to the east grew to become a highly popular resort spot in the 1930s and after; Beaumont followed suit and attempted to capitalize on the tourism by establishing guest ranches. According to an early 1930s/1940s postcard, the Highland Springs Guest Ranch of Beaumont offered its patrons horseback riding, tennis, archery, horseshoes, swimming, shuffle-board, ping pong, baseball, ballroom dancing, massage, basketball, as well as a place to spend the night.
During the Cold War, a Lockheed rocket test site operated by Simi Valley-based Rocketdyne was established south of the town in Potrero Canyon. In late 2003, the majority of the Potrero Canyon site was sold to the state of California. Toxic chemicals used in rocket fuel and site test activities have been found in the soil and groundwater at the site, and planning is underway to begin cleanup sometime in the next few years. Plans are being developed by the California Department of Fish and Game to allow public access. With the housing boom in the early decade, the urban sprawl reached the last remaining valleys of the Inland Empire.
Since 2000, with Beaumont's close proximity to Los Angeles, various Southern California residents have flocked to the San Gorgonio Pass region for its low housing cost, causing a 20% jump in the city's population, making it the fastest growing city in the state. This has concerned many local residents who cite increasing student population in schools, rising demand on the water supply, and increasing traffic in and out of the city on Interstate 10 in both directions. A 2008 study by the Public Policy Institute of California noted that Beaumont and its neighboring communities in the nearby San Jacinto Valley have registered the highest population growth throughout the sprawling Riverside County and that the region was projected to increase by 4.5% a year to 310,000 by 2015.
Beaumont is home to many new master-planned communities. The following communities are currently under construction or have been built: Oak Valley Greens, Three Rings Ranch, Solera by Del Webb later sold to Pulte Homes Inc., Sundance and Tournament Hills by Pardee Homes, and Fairway Canyon. Except for Oak Valley Greens, these communities operate under HOAs and are similar to developments in Redlands, Rancho Cucamonga, and even Orange County suburbs. New big box stores have opened up in town, including a Walmart Supercenter, a Home Depot Home Improvement Center, and Kohl's Department Store in the 2nd Street Marketplace. Other major businesses in the 2nd Street Marketplace area include Best Buy, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Petco, ALDI, Ross Dress for Less, Dollar Tree, Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, Chili's, McDonald's, Starbucks, and Taco Bell. Beaumont also boasts a new Walgreens, Rite-Aid, and a Stater Bros. grocery store.
The nearby Highland Springs Resort, established in 1884, hosts Southern California's largest certified organic lavender farm at 123 Farm, the Annual Lavender Festival in June, the Annual Sausage and Beer Festival in August, and the Annual Olive & Wine Faire in October. Beaumont is home to the Annual Cherry Festival, which celebrated its 100th anniversary from May 31st to June 3rd, 2018.
Local recreational possibilities include two golf courses: the Tukwet Canyon and Oak Valley Golf Clubs.
In May 2016, prosecutors announced that they were charging almost all of Beaumont’s former government leadership with corruption they said had been going on for three decades. Seven former officials were arrested and charged with stealing nearly $43 million from city coffers. Former City Manager Alan Kapanicas, former Economic Development Director David William Dillon, former Public Works Director Deepak Moorjani, former Planning Director Ernest Alois Egger, former Finance Director William Kevin Aylward, former City Atty. Joseph Sandy Aklufi and former Police Chief Francis Dennis Coe Jr. were accused of using their public offices to enrich themselves personally and secure interest-free loans for friends and colleagues with taxpayer money. Bail for Kapanicas, Aylward, Aklufi, Dillon, Moorjani and Egger was set at $5 million each, while Coe’s bail was set at $100,000. The criminal probe began in April 2015 when investigators with the Riverside County district attorney’s office and the FBI raided City Hall and seized records, computers and other items.
With an elevation of 2,500-3,000 feet above sea level, Beaumont is at the peak on the San Gorgonio Pass between San Bernardino, CA and Palm Springs, CA, neighboring the California Interstate 10 and California State Route 60 freeways. If driving east to Banning or west to Calimesa, drivers can feel a gradual downward slope.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 30.9 square miles (80 km2), of which, 99.96% of it is land and 0.04% is water.
Beaumont reaches an average of up to 95 degrees high Fahrenheit during the summer and 38 degrees low Fahrenheit during the winter. Due to its higher elevation, it is usually 5-10 Fahrenheit degrees cooler than its neighboring lower-elevation cities, such as Moreno Valley, Hemet, San Jacinto, and the Palm Springs desert area. Snow is rare. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Beaumont has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csa" on climate maps.
Beaumont's slightly cooler temperatures and less smoggy air, compared to its neighboring lower-elevation cities, make it an attractive, desirable area for development in the Inland Empire (California) region. However, it is one of the windiest cities in Southern California, along with San Bernardino, Fontana, and Victorville.
Annual precipitation is approximately 17 inches.
|Climate data for Beaumont, California. (station elevation 2,591ft)|
|Record high °F (°C)||83
|Average high °F (°C)||60.3
|Average low °F (°C)||38.4
|Record low °F (°C)||11
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||3.52
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||1.0
|Source: The Western Regional Climate Center|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
The 2010 United States Census reported that Beaumont had a population of 36,877. The population density was 1,192.4 people per square mile (460.4/km²). The racial makeup of Beaumont was 23,163 (62.8%) White (42.9% Non-Hispanic White), 2,276 (6.2%) African American, 544 (1.5%) Native American, 2,845 (7.7%) Asian, 83 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 6,058 (16.4%) from other races, and 1,908 (5.2%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14,864 persons (40.3%).
The Census reported that 36,403 people (98.7% of the population) lived in households, 263 (0.7%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 211 (0.6%) were institutionalized.
There were 11,801 households, out of which 5,341 (45.3%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 7,152 (60.6%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,452 (12.3%) had a female householder with no husband present, 708 (6.0%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 767 (6.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 106 (0.9%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,906 households (16.2%) were made up of individuals and 695 (5.9%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.08. There were 9,312 families (78.9% of all households); the average family size was 3.44.
The population was spread out with 11,121 people (30.2%) under the age of 18, 2,904 people (7.9%) aged 18 to 24, 11,058 people (30.0%) aged 25 to 44, 7,905 people (21.4%) aged 45 to 64, and 3,889 people (10.5%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32.5 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males.
There were 12,908 housing units at an average density of 417.4 per square mile (161.2/km²), of which 8,846 (75.0%) were owner-occupied, and 2,955 (25.0%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 4.3%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.9%. 26,871 people (72.9% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 9,532 people (25.8%) lived in rental housing units.
According to the 2010 United States Census, Beaumont had a median household income of $67,758, with 11.2% of the population living below the federal poverty line.
As of the census of 2000, there were 11,384 people, 3,881 households, and 2,782 families residing in the city. The population density was 418.9 people per square mile (161.8/km²). There were 4,258 housing units at an average density of 156.7 per square mile (60.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 68.1% White, 2.9% Black or African American, 2.3% Native American, 1.7% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 20.3% from other races, and 4.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 36.2% of the population.
There were 3,881 households, 42.6% of them with children under the age of 18; 47.3% were married couples living together, 17.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.3% were non-families. Single individuals made up 22.3% of all households, and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.9 persons and the average family size was 3.4.
In the city, the population was spread out with 33.0% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 17.3% from 45 to 64, and 10.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $40,295 in 2007. Males had a median income of $30,829 versus $20,613 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,141. About 17.8% of families and 20.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.9% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.
In the United States House of Representatives, Beaumont is in California's 36th congressional district, as a result of redistricting in 2012. The district is represented by Democrat Raul Ruiz, who defeated Mary Bono in 2012, after redistricting reassigned her seat from the District 44 to District 36. In 2014, Democrat Raul Ruiz defeated Republican Brian Nestande 54.2 percent to 45.8 percent. Prior to the 2012 General Election, Beaumont was in District 41, represented by Republican Jerry Lewis. Lewis announced his retirement before the election, which was contested by Republican John Tavaglione and Democrat Mark Takano who won the new (redistricted) seat.
- High schools: Beaumont, Glen View (continuation)
- Middle schools: Mountain View, San Gorgonio, Highland Academy Charter School
- Elementary schools: Anna Hause, Brookside, Highland Springs, Palm Avenue, Sundance, Starlight, Three Rings Ranch and Tournament Hills
The California Highway Patrol has a regional office on the Beaumont side of Highland Springs Avenue (its jurisdiction goes from Calimesa to the west to Desert Hot Springs to the east, as well as Hemet and San Jacinto to the south).
Law enforcement is provided by the Beaumont Police Department.
The City of Beaumont contracts for fire and paramedic services with the Riverside County Fire Department through a cooperative agreement with CAL FIRE. Station 66 of the City of Beaumont Fire Services maintains two type 1 engines and one rescue squad.
Mountain View Cemetery (also known as the Beaumont Cemetery) was established as the Beaumont Public Cemetery District in 1927. It began as a family cemetery for the Osburn family in 1843 and is now operated by the Summit Cemetery District. The district also operates the Stewart Sunnyslope Cemetery which was developed from land donated to the city in 1888.
- Scott Haskin, professional basketball player, grew up in Beaumont.
- Brion James, actor.
- George Wagner, professional wrestler known as "Gorgeous George", had a 195-acre (0.79 km2) turkey ranch in Beaumont, CA in the late 1950s to early 1960s.
- Tracy Caldwell Dyson, NASA astronaut, graduate of Beaumont High School (1987).
- Amir Zaki (artist), American photographic and video artist
In popular culture
The 1995 movie How to Make an American Quilt filmed many of its driving scenes through Beaumont. Local wildlife in the surrounding vicinity include quail, coyotes, and foxes. Today the town is home to many antique store establishments dating back several decades, including the Nettie and Alice Museum of Hobbies and the modern-day Beaumont Antique Mall.
A few episodes of the TV show "My Name is Earl" were filmed in Beaumont, as well as many of the show's opening scenes; the liquor store where he buys the winning lotto ticket, the car wash, and the scene where Earl gets hit by a car were all filmed near the intersection of 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.
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- Spillman, Eric (May 17, 2016). "Ex-Police Chief, City Manager Among 7 Former Top Officials of Beaumont Charged With Corruption". KTLA. Retrieved July 8, 2016.
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- Kelman, Brett (May 18, 2016). "DA: Former Beaumont officials siphoned $43 million". The Desert Sun. Retrieved July 8, 2016.
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- Climate Summary for Beaumont, California
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- USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)
- Summit Cemetery District
- USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) [duplicate GNIS listings] USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)
- Summit Cemetery District -- Stewart Sunnyslope Cemetery
- Norwood, Robyn (November 27, 1992). "College Basketball '92-93: A Big Shot: Surgery Didn't Stop Haskin, 6-11 With a Feathery Touch". Los Angeles Times.
- Schneider, Jerry L. (2016). Western Filming Locations California Book 6. CP Entertainment Books. Page 33. ISBN 9780692722947.
- Holtzclaw, Kenneth H.; Fox, Jeff (Mayor) (2007). Beaumont. Images of America. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 978-0738547138.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Beaumont.|