Wednesday Jun 06 2012
Delano's Quarry one of most successful
By: Gary Day, Special to the Placer Herald
Rocks, Rails and Ranches
According to state records, Rocklin was the principal granite producing point in the Sacramento Valley during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Rocklin?s largest and most financially-successful quarry operation during that era was Ira Delano?s Rocklin Granite Company. Delano acquired the quarry for $13,000 from the estate of Welshman quarry operator G. Griffith in 1889 and quickly benefited from the high quality and easy accessibility of the quarry?s granite. The quarry could yield granite slabs for monuments that were 16 feet long, 20 feet wide and 12 inches thick. The heyday for Delano came in the wake of San Francisco?s April 1906 earthquake. His operations supplied curbstones ? some of them 20 feet long ? that lined San Francisco?s rebuilt streets. Rocklin?s granite industry saw a steady decline between 1910 and 1920. Engineers were perfecting the manufacture of cement-based concrete during this period and an extended quarry-worker strike resulted in half of Rocklin?s quarries closing permanently in 1915. While Delano survived the 1915 strike, he closed his quarry in 1916. In 1957 Rocklin historian Uno Hebuck researched and documented the locations of 61 Rocklin quarries; many of these are still visible in Rocklin?s downtown landscape. According to Rocklin historian Ruben Ruhkala, possibly only five or six of the 61 produced granite after 1920. One closed in the late 1920s, but reopened in the 1930s and survived until 2005. It was Rocklin?s last surviving quarry. Delano?s quarry pit was 100 feet deep and covered an area of about one acre at the surface. The city of Rocklin bought the pit in 1941 for $10 and used it as the city dump for about 30 years. Today it underpins a parking lot and motel on the south side of the intersection of Rocklin Road and Granite Drive.