History preserved thanks to new endowment fund

Rocklin Historical Society partners with the Placer Community Foundation to protect the past
By: Gloria Beverage, Placer Herald Editor
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Rocklin Historical Society has partnered with the Placer Community Foundation to establish an endowment fund to support its efforts to promote and preserve local history. The fund offers an effective way for the community to make contributions, noted Chris Gebel, president of the Rocklin Historical Society. “The Rocklin Heritage Fund was an important and necessary step to continue and build upon our work as our community continues to keep pace with the explosive growth we’ve experienced during the past 50 years,” Gebel said. Those funds will support entertainment and education programs at the Rocklin History Museum and cover maintenance of the Old St. Mary’s Chapel on Front Street as well as sustain the society’s efforts to save and restore Rocklin’s granite processing sites and artifacts. One of the society’s greatest achievements to date has been preventing destruction of Rocklin’s oldest structure, Old St. Mary’s Chapel, Gebel continued. In September 2005, the historic building was moved to its present site on Front Street and society volunteers began the lengthy process of renovating and restoring it. Completely refurbished and open for weddings and private events, it will be the focal point for the community’s annual Tree Lighting Festival on Dec. 3. Now the society has set its sites on the preservation of Rocklin’s Capital Quarry, commonly known as Big Gun Quarry, on Pacific Street near Rocklin Road. In the 1860s, that quarry provided granite building materials, mainly granite blocks, for California’s State Capitol building in Sacramento. “Through public awareness, the Rocklin Heritage Fund will build community pride and engagement for the many new families in the area,” said Placer Community Foundation CEO Veronica Blake. “This impressive group of dedicated, forward-thinking volunteers is taking action today to ensure future resources are in place to protect Rocklin’s heritage.” Gifts can either be made today or through bequests. Since the fund is endowed, the principal will be invested, which allows the fund to grow over time, using only the earnings to support the public education programs and preservation projects around Rocklin’s rich history, Blake continued. Blake will discuss the foundation’s strategies for this fund during the Rocklin Historical Society meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday at Old St. Mary’s Chapel, 5251 Front St. (off Rocklin Road). In addition to Blake’s presentation, a presentation on last year’s Old Town Tree Lighting festival will be given and new officers will be selected. Placer Community Foundation is a non-profit community corporation created by and for the residents of Placer County. To make a gift to the Rocklin Heritage Fund or for more information, visit or call (530) 885-4920. The Rocklin Historical Society is a tax-exempt, all-volunteer organization. Membership dues for the Rocklin Historical Society are $20 per year. For more information, visit ________ Know and Go What: Rocklin Historical Society meeting When 7 p.m., Monday Where: Old St. Mary’s Chapel, 5251 Front Street Featured speaker: Placer Community Foundation Director Veronica Blake introducing the Rocklin Heritage Fund; Election of officers