The Beaumont St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad Retention Pond is located just south of Beaumont. The property is historically associated with the nearby Beaumont St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad Water Tank, which was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.
The St. Louis and San Francisco, colloquially known as the “Frisco,” was founded in 1866 as the “Atlantic and Pacific Railroad Company.” The Frisco first entered Kansas in 1879, and in 1884 began construction of a new line from Beaumont to Arkansas City, which was eventually extended south from Arkansas City to Enid, Oklahoma, in 1907.
Beaumont became an important division point along the line, and developed a stockyards, depot, section house, and roundhouse. Most importantly, Beaumont became the place where all passing steam locomotives took on their water and fuel.
The retention pond held the water supply that was piped to the water tank alongside the tracks wehre steam engines were re-supplied. In the era of steam-powered locomotives, watering stations like this one were essential to railroad transportation. The retention pond — the first of its kind in Kansas to be nominated to the registers — was nominated for its local significance in the area of transportation.