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Beale's Cut

Before the 14 Freeway that we know today, Fremont Pass (also known as "Beale’s Cut" or "Newhall Pass") was one of the primary ways to enter the Antelope Valley from the Newhall area. The cut dates to the 1860s, serving as one of the oldest pathways into the Antelope Valley.

In an interview with early pioneer Harold Sandberg in 1937, Harold recalls moving to the valley from Placentia in May 1890. Harold explains that they had a wagon, drawn by two horses, which they loaded all their belongings onto. On the back of the wagon, they hitched on a two-wheeled cart and the family cow, “Susie.”

On the morning of the third day, as they got to Fremont Pass, they found an adjacent saloon with a sign that said, “Take a drink when you go up the pass, and take another drink when you go down,” along with another sign that read: “Team to pull you over the pass $2.00.” Harold thought it was too much to spend, so he decided to try and make it over the pass without help. When he was unable to make it over the top, he reluctantly ended up paying the fee for the team.

According to Harold, the saloon keeper laughed upon his retreat saying, “I knew you’d be back… they all start up bravely, but they have to come back.” With the aid of the team, Harold was able to get over the summit and continue on. Eventually, Harold obtained land in the west Antelope Valley where he built a farm (c. 1893), raising pigs and potatoes. On April 2, 1897, the 160-acre homestead was officially recorded and in 1904, his wife (Marion Grant) began operating an apple orchard.

In 1914, when construction of the new Ridge Route began, Harold decided to start a hotel and cafe business. Sandberg built his hotel at a site south of Quail Lake, formerly an old stagecoach stop, and named it the Sandberg Summit Hotel. Here travelers could enjoy a meal, relax, or stay the night while their automobile was being serviced in the adjacent Sandberg Garage. A travel guidebook (c. 1920) listed the as having “25 good rooms, most with running water and toilet," that cost somewhere between $1.50 and $3.00. Lunch at the cafe was 85¢, while dinner is listed as being $1.00 While Sandberg’s Garage offered “nearly complete service" and was "never closed.”

"Gurba, Norma H. Lancaster. Arcadia, 2005.

MOAH Collections and"


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