Beaumont, Texas

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Beaumont, Texas
City
BeaumontTX.JPG
Location in the state of Texas
Location in the state of Texas
Coordinates: 30°04′48″N 94°07′36″W / 30.08000°N 94.12667°W / 30.08000; -94.12667Coordinates: 30°04′48″N 94°07′36″W / 30.08000°N 94.12667°W / 30.08000; -94.12667
Country  United States of America
State  Texas
County Jefferson
Settled 1835
Incorporation 1838
Demonym Beaumonter
Government
 • Type Council-Manager
 • City Council Mayor Becky Ames
Dr. Alan B. Coleman
W. L. Pate, Jr.
Bill Sam, Sr.
Audwin M. Samuel
Gethrel ‘Get’ Williams-Wright
Mike Getz
 • City Manager Kyle Hayes
Area
 • City 85.9 sq mi (222.6 km2)
 • Land 85.0 sq mi (220.2 km2)
 • Water 0.9 sq mi (2.4 km2)
Elevation 16 ft (5 m)
Population (2010)[1]
 • City 118,296
 • Estimate (2013)[1] 117,796
 • Density 1,339.4/sq mi (517.1/km2)
 • Urban 147,922 (222th U.S.)
 • Metro 404,872 (130th U.S.)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 77701–77710, 77713, 77720, 77725, 77726
Area code(s) 409
FIPS code 48-07000[2]
GNIS feature ID 1330268[3]
Interstates I-10 (TX).svg
U.S. Routes US 69.svg US 90.svg US 96.svg US 287.svg
Waterways Neches River, Pine Island Bayou
Public transit BMTS
Website beaumonttexas.gov

Beaumont (/ˈbmɒnt/ BOH-mont) is a city in and county seat of Jefferson County, Texas, United States,[4] within the Beaumont–Port Arthur Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city's population was 118,296 at the 2010 census making it the twenty-fourth most populous city in the state of Texas. Beaumont's early history was centered around the lumber, farming, and port industries. A big change occurred in 1901 with the Spindletop gusher. The area transformed into one of the major petro-chemical refining areas in the country. Along with Port Arthur and Orange, Beaumont forms the Golden Triangle, a major industrial area on the Gulf Coast.

Beaumont is home of Lamar University, a national Carnegie Doctoral Research university with 15,000 students. Over the years, several corporations called Beaumont home. For example, Gulf States Utilities had its headquarters in Beaumont until its absorption by Entergy Corporation in 1993. GSU's Edison Plaza headquarters is still the tallest building in Beaumont (as of 2011). With Spindletop, several current energy companies were spawned in Beaumont.

History[edit]

In 1824 Noah and Nancy Tevis settled on the west bank of the Neches River and organized a farm. Soon after that, a small community grew up around the farm, which was named Tevis Bluff or Neches River Settlement.[5] In 1835 the land of Tevises together with nearby community of Santa Anna (in total, 50 acres (20 ha)) was purchased by Henry Millard[6] (1796?–1844), Joseph Pulsifer[7] (1805–1861) and Thomas B. Huling[8] (1804–1865), who began planning a town to be laid out on this land.[5] This town was named Beaumont, after Jefferson Beaumont the brother in law of Henry Millard.

Beaumont became a town on 16 December 1838. Joseph Perkins Pulsifer was a founding citizen of Beaumont.[7] His firm, J.P. Pulsifer and Company, donated the first 50 acres (200,000 m2) upon which the town was founded. Beaumont's first mayor was Alexander Calder.[9] From its founding in 1835, business activities included real estate, transportation expansion, and retail sales. Later, other businesses were formed, especially in railroad construction and operation, new building construction, lumber sales, and communications. They made Beaumont a successful regional shipping center. Beaumont was a small center for cattle raisers and farmers in its early years, and with an active riverport by the 1880s, it became an important lumber and rice-milling town. The Beaumont Rice Mill, founded in 1892 by Joseph Eloi Broussard, was the first commercial rice mill in Texas. Beaumont's lumber boom, which reached its peak in the late 19th century, was due in large part to the rebuilding and expansion of the railroads after the Civil War. The rise of Beaumont's mill economy drew many new residents to the city, many of them immigrants, among them a group of Jews who would go on to form a congregation.[10] By the early 20th century, the city was served by the Southern Pacific, Kansas City Southern, Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe, and Missouri Pacific railroad systems.[11]

Lucas Gusher, Spindletop

Oil was discovered at nearby Spindletop on 10 January 1901. Spindletop became the first major oil field and one of the largest in American history. With the discovery of oil at Spindletop, Beaumont's population grew from 9,000 in January 1901 to 30,000 in March 1901. Oil is, and has always been, a major export of the city, and a major contributor to the national GDP.

Captain W. C. Tyrrell was a leading philanthropist during the early 20th century. He helped fund such projects as the opening of a commercial port in the city, the development of the local rice industry, the development of suburban property, as well as the donation of the city's first public library, the Tyrrell Historical Library.[12]

The city became a major center for shipbuilding during World War II, as tens of thousands of rural Texans poured in for the new high-paying jobs. Housing was scarce and racial tension ran high when a race riot took place in Beaumont in June 1943 after workers at the Pennsylvania shipyard in Beaumont learned that a white woman had accused a black man of raping her.[13] Thus, the riot in Beaumont added to World War II period race riots in Los Angeles,[14] Detroit,[15] Chicago[16] as well as other cities across the country and repeated the war time riots which had occurred in other parts of the country during World War I.

In 1996, the Jefferson County courts, located in Beaumont, became the first court in the nation to implement electronic filing and service of court documents, eliminating the need for law firms to print and mail reams of documents.

In 2005 and 2008, Beaumont and surrounding areas suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Rita and Hurricane Ike. A mandatory evacuation was imposed upon its residents for about two weeks.

Government[edit]

Local Government[edit]

According to the city’s most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the city’s various funds had $177.5 million in revenues, $164.5 million in expenditures, $633.2 million in total assets, $332.7 million in total liabilities, and $122.2 million in cash and investments.[17]

Politics[edit]

Beaumont is a council-manager form of government. Elections are held annually, with the Mayor and Council members each serving two-year terms. All powers of the City are vested in the Council, which enacts local legislation, adopts budgets, and determines policies. Council is also responsible for appointing the City Attorney, the City Clerk and Magistrates, and the City Manager. The city council is composed of two councilmembers-at-large, and four councilmembers representing four Wards of the city.[18]

Position Name Elected to Current Position Areas Represented

Council Districts

  Mayor Becky Ames 2007–present Citywide
  At Large Position 1 Gethrel ‘Get’ Williams-Wright 2007–present Citywide
  At Large Position 2 W.L. Pate, Jr. 2007–present Citywide
  Ward 1 & Mayor Pro-Tem Dr. Alan Coleman 2007–present North Beaumont
  Ward 2 Mike Getz 2011–present West Beaumont
  Ward 3 Audwin M. Samuels 1984–1992, 1999–present Central Beaumont
  Ward 4 Bill Sam, Sr. 2014–present South Beaumont

State representation[edit]

The Texas Department of Transportation operates the Beaumont District Office in Beaumont.[19] The Texas Ninth Court of Appeals is located in the Jefferson County Courthouse in Beaumont.[20] The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) operates the Beaumont District Parole Office in Beaumont.[21]

Federal representation[edit]

The Federal Bureau of Prisons operates the Beaumont Federal Correctional Complex in an unincorporated area in Jefferson County, near Beaumont.[22]

Economy[edit]

According to the City's 2009 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report[23] the top employers in the city are:

Refineries, Port of Beaumont and the Jefferson County Courthouse
# Employer # of Employees
1 Conn's Appliances Inc. 3,419
2 Beaumont Independent School District 2,909
3 Memorial Hermann Baptist Hospital 1,880
4 Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital 1,783
5 City of Beaumont 1,343
6 Lamar University 1,203
7 Jefferson County 1,193
8 CB&I Matrix Engineering 752
9 ENGlobal Corporation 468
10 Wal-Mart 450

A significant element of the region's economy is the Port of Beaumont, the nation's fourth largest seaport by tonnage. The 842d Transportation Battalion, and the 596th Transportation Group are both stationed at the port in Beaumont.

In addition to companies doing business within the city limits, several large industrial facilities are located within the city's five mile extraterritorial jurisdiction boundaries including the ExxonMobil Beaumont refinery and chemical plants, Goodyear Beaumont chemical plant, and DuPont chemical plant.

Jason's Deli has its headquarters in Beaumont.[24] Conn's Appliances did have its headquarters in Beaumont; however, in mid-2012, Conn's moved its corporate headquarters to The Woodlands.[25] Originally Sweet Leaf Tea Company had its headquarters in Beaumont.[26] The headquarters moved to Austin in October 2003.[27]

Businesses associated with Beaumont[edit]

  • Conn's: Chain of appliance and electronic stores; now headquartered in The Woodlands [28]
  • Gulf Oil: Gulf Oil Company founded 1901, now Chevron
  • Humble Oil: 50% of Humble Oil sold to Standard Oil of NJ to build its first refinery in Baytown. Merged and renamed Exxon 1972. Now ExxonMobil
  • Jason's Deli: Fast casual chain with locations in 30 states; still HQed in Beaumont.[24]
  • Magnolia Petroleum Company: Startup began in Corsicana in 1898, but became a major company in Beaumont in 1901. Owned KFDM radio, now 560 KLVI in the 1930s through the 1950s. Its refinery in Beaumont along with Texas Oil Co. & Gulf's in Port Arthur, TX were 3 of the largest in the world. Magnolia later sold 45% ownership to Standard Oil of NY, Socony. Combined companies years later into Mobil now ExxonMobil
  • Port of Beaumont: Young town of Beaumont grew quicker around this harbor about 1840 and would mark the spot that would become the port. Ranks consistently among the top five ports in the country for tonnage
  • Sweet Leaf Tea: A ready-to-drink organic tea company started in Beaumont in 1998 by Clayton Christopher and David Smith, later moved to Austin, TX.
  • The Texas Oil Company: Founded in 1902 just west of Beaumont (Sour Lake, Texas) became Texaco;, now owned/part of Chevron formerly Standard Oil Company of California.
  • The Texas Coffee Company: Home of Seaport Coffees and Texjoy Steak Seasoning among other products distributed regionally. The company was founded in 1921 by Charles J. Fertitta, Sr. In 1968, the Texas Coffee Company became the first company in the United States to begin packaging coffee in vacuum-packed foil bags.[29]

Transportation[edit]

Jack Brooks Regional Airport (BPT), located 9 miles (14 km) south of Beaumont's central business district, serves the region with regional jet flights nonstop to Dallas/Fort Worth Airport (DFW), Texas with this scheduled passenger service being operated by American Eagle on behalf of American Airlines.

Amtrak's Sunset Limited serves Beaumont's train station.

Groundshuttle operates a daily shuttle to Houston Hobby Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

The city operates a city wide bus system called Beaumont Municipal Transit (BMT).

Major Highways

I-10
US 69
US 90
US 96
US 287

Geography[edit]

Beaumont is located at 30°4′48″N 94°7′36″W / 30.08000°N 94.12667°W / 30.08000; -94.12667 (30.079912, −94.126653).[30] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 85.9 square miles (222 km2), of which 85.0 square miles (220 km2) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2) (1.07%) is water.

Beaumont lies on Texas' coastal plain, about 30 miles (48 km) inland from the Gulf of Mexico, and just south of the dense pine forests of East Texas. The city is bordered on the east by the Neches River and to the north by Pine Island Bayou. Before being settled, the area was crisscrossed by numerous small streams. Most of these streams have since been filled in or converted for drainage purposes. The island directly across from Riverfront Park is called Trinity Island. There are also three other islands in the Neches River around the downtown area/port: Harbor, Smith and Clark.

Climate[edit]

The city of Beaumont, Texas is within the humid subtropical climate zone.[31] This city is located within the Piney Woods, which cover the eastern region of Texas, as well as adjacent Louisiana.[32] This region of Texas receives the most rainfall in the state, with more than 48 inches (1,200 mm) annually. This is due to the warm gulf waters that carry humid air to the region, where it condenses and precipitates. Hurricanes also strike the region, the most disastrous of which was the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, as well as Hurricane Ike in 2008. Hurricane Ike was the largest and most damaging hurricane to hit Beaumont to date, striking 13 September 2008. Causing $32 billion in damage, it is the third costliest hurricane in United States history.[33] The humidity of the region greatly amplifies the feeling of heat during the summer. The winters are moderated by warm gulf currents. Wintry precipitation is unusual, but does occur. A recent snow event was 24 December 2004, the first such since 1989. However, more recently, Beaumont and the surrounding areas received a light snow on 11 December 2008, with up to 4 inches (100 mm) in the west end. Beaumont and the surrounding areas received a trace to half an inch of light snow on 4 December 2009. These are the earliest measurable snowfalls at the airport since the late 19th century. Although in unofficial records, Beaumont received as much as 30 inches (760 mm) of snow on 14 February and 15 during the blizzard of 1895 that impacted the gulf coast with unusual cold weather. Unofficially the temperature reported a drop to a low of 4 °F (−16 °C) after the storm. The area suffered a severe ice storm in January 1997. On 18 August 2009, a tornado hit the west end of Beaumont, and caused damage to several local businesses and cars. Injuries were minimal.[34]

The Beaumont-Port Arthur region has historically been cited as one of the most polluted urban areas in the United States due to various energy industries and chemical plants in the area. Even so, as of July, 2014, the Beaumont-Port Arthur region was not under any Environmental Protection Agency non-attainment restrictions; however, counties in the Greater Houston area, the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex, and El Paso were.[35] As of October, 2014, the Beaumont-Port Arthur area was not under any Texas Commission on Environmental Quality attainment compliance deadlines.[36] Regardless, according to an article published in 2007 focusing on Beaumont's neighbor to the south, Port Arthur, pollution was believed to have caused some general area residents to become sick and has generated debates throughout the media.[37]

Climate data for Beaumont, Texas (1981–2010 normals)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 86
(30)
90
(32)
95
(35)
94
(34)
101
(38)
106
(41)
108
(42)
108
(42)
105
(41)
99
(37)
94
(34)
86
(30)
108
(42)
Average high °F (°C) 62.2
(16.8)
64.5
(18.1)
71.6
(22)
79.2
(26.2)
85.8
(29.9)
90.9
(32.7)
92.2
(33.4)
93.2
(34)
88.1
(31.2)
80.9
(27.2)
72.0
(22.2)
62.8
(17.1)
78.62
(25.9)
Average low °F (°C) 42.5
(5.8)
45.5
(7.5)
52.1
(11.2)
60.0
(15.6)
68.0
(20)
73.4
(23)
75.3
(24.1)
74.8
(23.8)
69.8
(21)
60.7
(15.9)
51.7
(10.9)
42.5
(5.8)
59.69
(15.38)
Record low °F (°C) 11
(−12)
10
(−12)
20
(−7)
32
(0)
45
(7)
53
(12)
61
(16)
58
(14)
45
(7)
30
(−1)
22
(−6)
12
(−11)
10
(−12)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 4.94
(125.5)
3.86
(98)
3.50
(88.9)
2.92
(74.2)
5.18
(131.6)
7.20
(182.9)
6.20
(157.5)
4.96
(126)
6.35
(161.3)
5.44
(138.2)
4.78
(121.4)
4.99
(126.7)
60.34
(1,532.6)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 10.7 9.8 8.7 6.6 7.8 10.7 11.9 10.8 9.8 7.8 8.5 10.5 113.6
Source: NOAA[38] The Weather Channel (records)[39]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 3,296
1900 9,427 186.0%
1910 20,640 118.9%
1920 40,422 95.8%
1930 57,732 42.8%
1940 59,061 2.3%
1950 94,014 59.2%
1960 119,175 26.8%
1970 117,548 −1.4%
1980 118,067 0.4%
1990 114,177 −3.3%
2000 113,866 −0.3%
2010 118,296 3.9%

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 118,296 people, 45,648 households, and 28,859 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,339.4 people per square mile (517.2/km²). There were 48,815 housing units at an average density of 574.2 per square mile (221.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 39.8% White, 47.3% African American, 0.0% Native American, 3.3% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 7.1% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.4% of the population.

There were 45,648 households out of which 28.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.7% were married couples living together, 19.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.8% were non-families. 30.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.3% the age of 19 or under, 8.5% from 20 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 25.2% from 45 to 64, and 10.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34.4 years. For every 100 females there were 95 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $39,699, according to the American Community Survey (5 year), and the median income for a family was $49,766. The per capita income for the city was $23,137. About 17.6% of families and 22.1% of the population were below the poverty line.

Culture[edit]

Arts and theatre[edit]

Museums and Buildings Open for Tours[edit]

Art Museum of Southeast Texas, notice the last remaining column from the Perlstein Building.
  • Art Museum of Southeast Texas (AMSET), with its Perlstein Plaza, dedicated in memory of pioneer real estate developer Hyman Asher Perlstein (1869–1947), who arrived in Beaumont in 1889 as a poor Jewish immigrant from Lithuania and eventually became one of the city's major builders.[40] The museum stands on the site of the Perlstein building, which was the tallest structure between Houston and New Orleans when it was erected in 1907. Only one column still remains from the building. AMSET, formerly the Beaumont Art Museum, exhibits 19th–21st century American art with a collecting focus on Texas art and Folk Art and offers 10–14 educational programs in any given year. Admission is free, and is the only museum open seven days per week.
  • Beaumont Children's Museum New, temporary location opening summer, 2015 in the Beaumont Civic Center[41]
  • The Art Studio, Inc. (TASI), a non-profit arts cooperative and art gallery space that rents subsidized space to visual artists. Also hosts poetry readings, music events, film screenings. Housed in a converted warehouse in the industrial district of Beaumont's downtown.
Babe Didrikson Zaharias Museum off Interstate 10 in Beaumont
John Jay French Museum
  • Babe Didrikson Zaharias Museum. Museum dedicated to the life of the Beaumont native and accomplished athlete.
  • The Beaumont Art League is the oldest non-profit art gallery in the area, with 70 years of history. The two gallery spaces (at the old Fairgrounds on Gulf Street) host art exhibitions and juried shows year-round, including the notable BAL National Exhibition (formerly the Tri-State Show), which attracts artists all over the country.
  • The Chambers House A home open for tours built in 1906 providing a step back in time. The home is filled with furniture, personal items, and artifacts used in the home.
  • The Clifton Steamboat Museum opened its doors on 26 October 1995 with construction beginning in the earlier months of 1994. The theme of the museum is Heroes... Past, Present, and Future and honors our military and civilian heroes. The Clifton Steamboat Museum consists of a 24,000 square feet (2,200 m2), two-story museum that is handicap accessible, and contains various exhibits. Museum art exhibits bring to life the wars fought in Southeast Texas and Louisiana, as well as the Steamboat Era, World Wars I and II, Korea, and Vietnam. Upper art galleries of the museum feature original bronze sculptures; Native American artists, wildlife, and frontier paintings from famous artists. A special gallery in the museum is dedicated to the Boy Scouts. This boy scouts gallery features many historical scouting artifacts, some dating back before the 1960s. There is also the tugboat, "Hercules", standing at 36 feet (11 m) high, 22 feet (6.7 m) wide, and 92 feet (28 m) long which is included on the museum tour. Tours available by appointment only.
  • Dishman Art Museum is the University Art Museum located on the campus of Lamar University. The museum features 19th and 20th century European and American Art as well as Tribal Art from Africa and New Guinea.
  • Edison Museum – about inventor Thomas Edison The museum features exhibits and artifacts about Thomas Edison and his innovations.
  • Fire Museum of Texas – Home of one of world's largest fire hydrants. Antique fire trucks and equipment chronicle the history of firefighting in Texas. Educational programs stress the importance of fire safety.
  • John Jay French Museum. The John Jay French Museum is an historic home that has been converted into a museum. Its purpose is to illustrate the life of a prosperous Texas pioneer family from 1845 to 1865. The home, built in 1845 by French, a tanner and merchant, showcases period furnishings, clothing and pioneer household utensils. Outbuildings on the grounds include a blacksmith shop, tannery, privy and smokehouse.
  • The McFaddin-Ward House, was built in 1905–06 in the Beaux-Arts Colonial style and is located in the Oaks Historic District. The structure and its furnishings reflect the lifestyle of the prominent family who lived in the house for seventy-five years. A very large historic home with a substantial carriage house. The entire grounds are currently a public museum with a substantial permanent collection of antique furniture and household items. Educational programs focus on history and are geared toward children and adults.
  • Red Lobster's historical marine museum
  • Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum The museum includes several reconstructed buildings reminiscent of the original Gladys City. The buildings contain artifacts from the period.

Other Historic Buildings[edit]

Jefferson Theatre
Built in 1903 as First Baptist Church, this building is now Tyrrell Historical Library

Performing Arts[edit]

Tourism and recreation[edit]

In Beaumont[edit]

  • The Beaumont Botanical Gardens is located at Tyrrell Park. On its 23.5 acre grounds, it includes a Cattail Marsh, the 10,000 sq ft Warren Loose Conservatory, formal gardens, and a mile nature trail.[42]
  • Tyrrell Park - Botanical Garden, Henry Homberg Municipal Golf Course, Cattail Marsh, restrooms, shelters, Babe Zaharias Drive Monument, baseball backstop, lighted basketball goals, benches, drinking fountains, 1-mile (1.6 km) nature trail, picnic tables
  • Neches River Adventures Sponsored by the Big Thicket Association, two hour eco-tours down the Neches River and bayous are provided from March to November each year. The tour departs from Riverfront Park in downtown Beaumont.

Within 30 Minute Drive[edit]

  • Big Thicket National Preserve Located north of Beaumont, hiking, canoe paddling, and swimming are some of the available activities.
  • McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge Located about 30 minutes away from Beaumont, the refuge provides nature trails as well as photography, fishing, and hunting activities.
  • Sea Rim State Park About 30 minutes away from Beaumont adjacent to the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge, Sea Rim State Park provides access to Gulf of Mexico beaches as well as hiking trails.
  • Village Creek State Park is located just north of Beaumont. Numerous activities including canoe paddling are provided.
  • Shangri-la Gardens Located in Orange, about 20–25 minutes east of Beaumont, Shangri-La Gardens has sculptured gardens to natural settings as well as boat tours.
  • Stark Museum of Art Also located in Orange, provides several exhibits.

Downtown Beaumont[edit]

Main article: Downtown Beaumont

Downtown Beaumont is the center of Business, Government and night time entertainment in southeast Texas. Downtown features the Crockett Street Entertainment Complex with entertainment options from dancing, to live music to dining or a bar. In addition to the night time entertainment downtown also features a museum district with four distinct museums.

Golf Courses

Events[edit]

  • Since 1907, Beaumont has been home of the South Texas State Fair. The South Texas State Fair and Rodeo is held at Beaumont's Ford Park during March. It is the 2nd largest fair in the state with over 500,000 visitors in 2009.[43] The fair features a livestock show, a commercial exhibition, a carnival midway and numerous food choices. The Fair moved from the Fair Park Coliseum to Ford Park in 2004, a new, larger facility on the west end of Beaumont.. The fair was previously held in the fall but had to be moved to spring after hurricanes Rita in 2005 and Ike in 2008 caused its cancellation. YMBL Championship Rodeo is held at Ford Park during the South Texas State Fair. The rodeo is an annual event and is sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Admission to the rodeo is included in fair admission.
  • The Gusher Marathon formed in 2010 by the local nonprofit Sports Society for American Health is the city's first annual marathon. The Gusher takes place in March and includes a 5K, half marathon and full marathon. The course begins at the Montagne Center of Lamar University and tours Downtown and Lamar before returning to the Montange.
  • The Beaumont Jazz & Blues Fest is a Jazz festival held in downtown Beaumont since 2005. The Boomtown Film and Music Festival is a film and music festival that began in 2008 to replace the Spindletop Film Festival.
  • Dog Jam is a rock concert held annually at Ford Park.
  • July 4 Celebration - Each year, a July 4 celebration is held in downtown Beaumont. The celebration includes live music outside on and around Riverfront Park, a concert by the Symphony of Southeast Texas in the Julie Rogers Theatre followed by a fireworks display viewed from Riverfront Park.
  • Lunch at the Lake Each Monday starting in March, the City of Beaumont provides live music and seating at the Event Centre in downtown Beaumont. Around ten vendors are at the event with a wide choice of food selections.
Event Centre
Event Centre from across the lake
Event Centre across the lake on a rainy, midwinter day 

Parades[edit]

  • Downtown Winter Parade - On the first Saturday of December downtown host the Beaumont Downtown Winter Parade. The parade features floats that travel down Main, College and Pearl streets. In recent years the parade has also featured a lighted boat parade that travels down the Neches River, spectators can watch from Riverfront Park.
  • Neches River Festival Parade - One of the many events associated with the Neches River Festival, held in April, is a downtown parade. The festival has been held since 1948.

Sports[edit]

Professional Sports[edit]

University Sports[edit]

Main article: Lamar Cardinals

The sports teams of Lamar University compete in Division I NCAA athletics as the Lamar Cardinals. The athletics program is a full member of the Southland Conference. The Cardinals and Lady Cardinals compete in 17 varsity sports. The Cardinals Basketball team plays in the Montagne Center and Cardinals Baseball Team plays in Vincent-Beck Stadium.

The university brought back football in 2010. As part of the return, Provost Umphrey Stadium was completely renovated. The return was official when the Cardinals Football team played its first game in 21 years in the fall of 2010. The team currently competes in the Southland Conference as a member of the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).

Media[edit]

Newspapers[edit]

The Beaumont Enterprise is the only daily newspaper serving Beaumont. Operating since 1880 The Enterprise is one of the oldest continually operated business in Beaumont. It is operated by the Hearst Corporation. Two weekly publications The Examiner and The Southeast Texas Record serve Beaumont and the area. The Examiner is primarily an investigative reporting paper. the Southeast Texas Record is a legal journal that covers Jefferson and Orange County courts.

Television[edit]

  • KBTV (FOX) 4.1 with BOUNCE on 4.2; RF channel 40
  • KFDM (CBS)/DT 6.1 with (CW Network on 6.2) RF channel 25 / PSIP 6.x

KBTV is operated by the same owners of KFDM, Sinclair Broadcast Group.

  • KBMT (ABC)/DT 12.1 with (NBC) at 720p on 12.2; RF channel 12 / PSIP 12.x with Cozi on 12.3 and MeTV on 12.4. Gannett owns KBMT.
  • KITU-TV(TBN) 34.1 - 34.5; RF channel 33
  • KUIL-LD/K36ID LMAed by KBMT/London from KVHP; RF channel 43/36 and PSIP 12.5/.6 with MyTV on 12.5 and MundoFOX on 12.6
  • LUTV Lamar University's video service that provides C-SPAN-like coverage on local government proceedings, and original programming from students. It does not have an over the air channel and is available only on cable TV.

The region currently has no PBS station of its own; Houston's PBS on channel 8 and Lake Charles LPB on channel 20 do not reach the area. KUHT has a construction permit for a digital translator on RF 24, which would share KFDM's antenna on 25 but the University of Houston has had financial cutbacks and recently cancelled a translator application in Victoria. What outcome this will have on the Beaumont facility remains to be seen.

Radio[edit]

Frequency Call letters / licensed to (if not Beaumont) Format Owner Notes
560 KLVI News, Talk radio Clear Channel
990 KZZB Gospel "Gospel 990" Martin Broadcasting
1150 KBPO (Port Neches) Spanish-language Christian Radio Christian Ministries of the Valley
1250 KDEI (Port Arthur) Catholic radio Radio Maria
1300 KSET (Lumberton) Silent Proctor-Williams, Inc.
1340 KOLE (Port Arthur) Various Birach Broadcasting
1450 KIKR Sports "Sports Radio 1450/1510 AM" Cumulus Broadcasting
1510 KBED (Nederland) Sports "Sports Radio 1450/1510 AM" Cumulus Broadcasting Simulcast of KIKR only during daytime hours
1600 KOGT (Orange) Country
88.1 KLBT Contemporary Christian The King's Musician Educational Foundation
88.5 KGHY Southern Gospel "The Gospel Highway" CCS Radio
89.7 KTXB Christian radio "Family Radio" Family Stations
90.5 KZFT (Fanette) Christian radio AFR
91.3 KVLU Public Radio Lamar University
92.5 KCOL (Groves) Oldies "Cool 92.5" Clear Channel
93.3 (Port Arthur) KQBU Regional Mexican "Que Buena 93.3" Univision
94.1 KQXY CHR "Q94" Cumulus Broadcasting
95.1 KYKR Country "Kicker 95.1" Clear Channel
97.5 KFNC (Mont Belvieu) Sports "ESPN 97.5" Gow Media-Houston
98.5 KTJM (Port Arthur) Regional Mexican "La Raza 98.5/103.3" Liberman Broadcasting-Houston
99.9 KSHN (Liberty) Full service "Shine All 9" Trinity River Valley Broadcasting
100.7 KKHT (Lumberton) Christian radio "100.7 The Word" Salem Broadcasting
101.7 KAYD (Silsbee) Country "KD101" Cumulus Broadcasting
102.5 KTCX Urban contemporary "Magic 102.5" Cumulus Broadcasting
103.3 K277AG (Beaumont) Comedy "Comedy 103.3" Clear Channel Simulcast of KKMY-HD2
104.5 (Orange) KKMY Rhythmic CHR "104.5 Kiss FM" Clear Channel
105.3 KXXF (Winnie) Mostly rock but varied (with Walton and Johnson mornings Excel Media
106.1 KIOC (Orange) Rock "Big Dog 106" Clear Channel
107.9 KQQK Regional Mexican "107.9 El Norte" Liberman Broadcasting-Houston

Architecture[edit]

Downtown Beaumont, Texas from Laurel St.

Beaumont has 8 buildings over 100 feet (30 m) tall, the tallest being the Edison Plaza, which is 254 feet (77 m) tall.[45] The old Edson Hotel, built in 1928 is nearly the same height at 240 feet.[46] One of the most prominent downtown buildings is the 15 story San Jacinto Building. Built in 1921, it sports one of the largest four faced clock towers in the nation, each dial being 17 feet (5.2 m) in diameter.[47] In 1922 the 11 story Hotel Beaumont was built across the street from the San Jacinto. The Hotel Beaumont bears a resemblance to the old Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta. The second oil boom of 1925 brought more people and wealth to Beaumont, the same year the 12 story American National Bank Building (now Orleans Building), was erected, and in 1926 Forrest Goodhue built the 12 story Goodhue Building which included a penthouse. In 1928, the Edson Hotel was built. No other buildings were built until Century Tower in 1962 and in 1982 Edison Plaza was built. In 1994 the 12 story LaSalle Hotel, built in 1927, was demolished.

The Jefferson Theatre was built in 1927 by the Jefferson Amusement Company for $1 million and was Beaumont's showpiece for many years. In 1928 the City Hall and Auditorium was built. It is now the Julie Rogers Theater.

Beaumont's Jefferson County Courthouse is one of the tallest county courthouses in the state and is an excellent example of Art Deco architecture.[48] Across the street from the Jack Brooks Federal Building is the Kyle Building, built in 1933. The storefront was recently restored and is considered to be one of the best examples of Zig-Zag architecture in Texas.[49]

The Oaks Historic District has many restored historic homes.

Education[edit]

Colleges and Universities[edit]

Lamar University[edit]

Main article: Lamar University

Beaumont has one state university, Lamar University, which belongs to The Texas State University System. Lamar University was established in 1923 as South Park Junior College. The university is currently classified as a national university. It is also classified as a Doctoral Research University by the Carnegie Foundation.[50] With over 100 degrees offered, the university's main academic offerings are in Business, Nursing, Teaching and Engineering. Lamar University's enrollment has grown tremendously in the first decade of the 21st century.[51] This has prompted a building boom at the campus. The school's enrollment as of Fall, 2014 was above 14,889 students.

Lamar Institute of Technology[edit]

Lamar Institute of Technology, located directly adjacent to Lamar University, serves as the region's technical college for two-year degrees and certificates. Originally a part of Lamar University and its predecessors since 1923, Lamar Institute of Technology was chartered in 1949 when the Lamar College Bill was passed. The bill was sponsored in the Texas Legislature by State Representative Jack Brooks and Senator W.R. Cousins, Jr. of Beaumont. Lamar Institute of Technology became a separate entity in 1995.[52][53] As of Fall, 2014, enrollment totaled 2,920 students.

Primary and secondary schools[edit]

Beaumont is served by the Beaumont Independent School District.

High Schools

Harmony Science Academy of Beaumont, public charter school. Premier High School of Beaumont, also a public charter school in Beaumont.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Beaumont runs three Catholic elementary schools in Beaumont, St. Anne Catholic School, St. Anthony Cathedral Catholic School, and Our Mother of Mercy Catholic School. Monsignor Kelly Catholic High School is the city's lone Catholic high school. Legacy Christian Academy, on Highway 105, enrolls PK-3 through 12th grade. All Saints Episcopal School, on Delaware St., enrolls Kindergarten through 8th grade.

Sister Cities[edit]

Notable people[edit]

For a full list of people associated with Beaumont Texas see: People from Beaumont, Texas

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Further reading[edit]

  • "Banking in Beaumont 1960–2006", Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record (Nov 2007), Vol. 43, pp 2–6; Examines the banking system since the 1960s and the impact of the One Bank Holding Company Act of 1970.
  • Faucett, William T. "Shipbuilding in Beaumont during World War II", Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record 2005 41: 55–65.
  • Linsley, Judith Walker; Rienstra, Ellen Walker; and Stiles, Jo Ann. Giant under the Hill: A History of the Spindletop Oil Discovery at Beaumont, Texas, in 1901 (Austin: Texas State Hist. Assoc., 2002). 304 pp.
  • Schaadt, Robert L. "The Business of Beaumont Prior to 1880", Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record 2006 42: 34–53.

External links[edit]