Axel Conrads, Plant Manager, has announced the financial support of the Lehigh Southwest Cement Company for Tehachapi’s next historical mural. The company has generously offered to match contributions from other donors, up to $10,000. Duana Pera and Larry Ursua, current Lehigh employees and Tehachapi residents, are helping to plan for the plant’s 100th anniversary celebration, and together with Conrads have been instrumental in securing the mural pledge from Lehigh’s corporate offices.
The mural will commemorate the importance of the cement plant to the history of Tehachapi and the integral part it has played for the families who have resided here. The year 2008 will mark the 100th anniversary of the beginning of production at the plant, with initial construction started in 1906. The original plant was built by the City of Los Angeles to produce cement for the Los Angeles aqueduct.
Coy Burnett eventually became the sole owner and operated the plant as the Monolith Portland Cement Plant. Burnett became a well-known local philanthropist, who helped to improve the quality of life in the Tehachapi area for employees of Monolith, as well as the citizens of Tehachapi.