In a ceremony attended by the family of Israel Rona, city, educational and other local officials, ministers, choirs of several local churches, and many long-time community members, the City of Redlands dedicated their newest public park in the name of Israel Beal, a Black man who was among the earliest 'easterners' to locate in the area, then known as "Crafton" who bought land and became an established house builder.
Participating in the ceremony were Mario Saucedo, Chair, North Redlands Visioning Committee; Nathan Gonzales, PhD, Associate Archivist, A. J. Smiley Library, who presented extensive historical information about Isreal Beal and the period of his life in Redlands; Jerry Bean, Redlands City Councilman, who announced the official naming of the park; Dr Felix Roger Jones, who in his invocation also gave thanks that the rain had stopped even permitting moments of sunshine so that the celebration could continue; Josiah Bruny, who brought several participants in his "Music Changing Lives" youth development program, to help provide musical entertainment ; choral selections from several Black churches in Redlands; and selections from Rev. Bronica Martindale & her children.
The focus of the program was on Isreal Beal and the generations of his family that were present. Members introduced themselves then the patriarchs (Charles Beal, III and Herbert Rona) shared memories of their ancestor.
Isreal Beal Park is located at 455 Riverview St. , Redlands, in the north-west area of Redlands overlooking the tributary of the Santa Ana River and has facilities for family and small group activities.
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