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SealCity of Beaumont, CA
550 East 6th Street
Beaumont, CA 92223
Centennial Memorial Bridge

The following is an excerpt from the Centennial Memorial Bridge dedication on October 4, 2012:
When the Southern Pacific Railroad came through the San Gorgonio Pass, it spurred growth along each community it passed. Beaumont was certainly no exception. Bridges are often called the most invisible form of public architecture. In a busy world, we cross them every day and pay little mind. These marvels of engineering take us where we want to go, give us safe passage during storms, and open up new land for jobs and building.
This rust-colored metal structure may look like an old-time railroad trestle, but it’s actually a bridge to the future. Back in May 2010, iron workers toiled on steel beams nearly four stories above the creek to build this 700 foot long, 4-million-pound marvel of engineering.

The project was the first step in building the new Potrero Boulevard Bypass, which will keep traffic flowing smoothly in the Pass and become an important key to the future of Beaumont.
The entire Potrero Boulevard Bypass is a critical regional transportation route that will connect I-10 with SR60 and SR79. The project has already unlocked more than 2,000 acres for commercial and industrial development, creating the potential for thousands of jobs in the region. This has been the City of Beaumont’s largest transportation project to date. San Francisco has the Golden Gate, in New York it’s the Brooklyn Bridge, and now Beaumont has their iconic bridge. All that was left to do was to give it a name.

In late 2010, a public contest was held to name the new bridge in San Timoteo Canyon. Nearly 200 names were submitted by the December 31 deadline. In early 2011, my fellow city council members and I chose “Centennial Memorial Bridge” in honor of our 100th anniversary coming up on November 18. In addition to this name we chose to honor five people who have helped make Beaumont what is today.

I would now like to tell you a little bit about each person we have chosen - The following are names and histories that were submitted by the community of Beaumont:

Ray T. Samson
Ray moved to the City of Beaumont at the age of 3. At 15 he became a volunteer fireman, the beginning of a 51-year career which led to him being the oldest and longest serving fireman in Southern California. He served as Beaumont’s volunteer fire chief for several years. Ray was awarded with a certificate for his service and in 1958 he was appointed Beaumont’s lifetime honorary fire chief. Ray Samson was a Beaumont City Councilman for 11 years and served as mayor from 1936-1940. He served as deputy constable under constable John M.Lovern, who was the first constable of Beaumont Township.  After Lovern resigned, Ray served as constable for 20 years. He also served as a board member for the Beaumont Cemetery District for 30 years, president of the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce, and served on the Cherry Festival Board.

Lewis Haskall
Lewis Haskall was born in 1902 in San Timoteo, attended grade school in the canyon, and graduated from Beaumont High School in 1919.
In 1870, James Singleton bought the former San Timoteo Ranch, which later became known as the Singleton-Haskall Ranch. Lewis Haskall and his family operated the dairy ranch until 1962. Lewis was also on the Riverside County Flood Control District board for many years and the Beaumont Water District Board.

Donald B. Houston
Donald B. Houston was a lifetime resident of Beaumont and a member of the Houston pioneer family that settled in San Timoteo Canyon in 1920. Don continued to farm the "Houston Ranch" well into the 1970s. Don was on the Beaumont Library Board from 1959-1991. He served as a member of the San Gorgonio Pass Water Agency from 1977-1989. Don was elected to the Beaumont City Council from 1960-1968, serving as mayor from 1964-1968. From 1977-1992 he served as city treasurer for the City of Beaumont. He was also on the board involved with the reconstruction of the Pass Memorial Hospital.  As a history enthusiast, Don was a member of the San Gorgonio Pass Historical Society. He truly cherished his heritage as part of San Timoteo Canyon and he loved to share its rich history.

George Anhalt
George Anhalt worked as a Riverside County sheriff's deputy in the San Gorgonio Pass from the late 1980s into the 2000s and was a resident of the City of Beaumont. Deputy George Anhalt was well known in the community for his friendly nature and attitude of service. Aside from working as a deputy sheriff, George Anhalt was a board member of the Beaumont-Cherry Valley Water District. Deputy Anhalt also served the youth of the San Gorgonio Pass, acting as an explorer scout adviser for several years. Deputy Anhalt served honorably for the Sheriff's Department, even being shot and wounded while on a call in Cherry Valley. On September 5, 2001, Deputy Anhalt was tragically killed in a traffic collision on Highway 79 while driving home to Beaumont from his assignment in the Hemet Courts.

Spc. Michael Dahl Jr.
Michael was a native son of Beaumont and an U.S. Army specialist. Michael was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2009 when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device while on patrol during Operation Enduring Freedom. Michael is survived by his large family who have been in the Pass area for many years. He will be forever honored for giving the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our nation’s freedo.

Now Beaumont’s new trestle bridge has a fitting name. It celebrates our city’s upcoming centennial and honors those who helped build the community. All of these honorees leave a legacy of servitude. Whether serving our city or our country, they have contributed to the success of Beaumont within the last 100 years.  Now I, Roger Berg, along with my fellow City Councilmembers, officially declare this trestle bridge “Centennial Memorial Bridge” in honor of Ray T. Samson, Lewis Haskall, Donald B. Houston, George Anhalt, and Spc. Michal Dahl Jr.