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Rocks, Rails & Ranches

Quinn Quarry operated by widow after husband’s death

GPS coordinates: (N 38° 47.253’, W 121° 14.046’)
By: Gary Day, special to the Placer Herald
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Rocklin History Tour

This is the 14th installment of a 19-part series in which Gary Day will take readers on a tour of Rocklin’s historic sites. You can find the sites yourself with a handy Rocklin History Tour booklet, available at the Rocklin History Museum, 3895 Rocklin Road. GPS coordinates were provided by Brian Ignaut. Short stories about Rocklin’s history are at www.rocklinhistory.org/history_series.asp.

Quinn Quarry is on Winding Lane, about 200 yards west of South Grove Street. It is easy to find, but vegetation blocks a full view of its scenic lake from the road.

William and Mary Quinn squatted here and opened the quarry in 1873. Mary and her sons managed quarry operations after William fell to his death from a hoist in 1874. Legislation of 1891 concerning squatters’ rights allowed the Quinns to assume ownership in 1893. They leased the quarry to new operators in the late 1890s and the quarry continued to produce granite until the early 20th century.

Rocklin’s old timers remember that the quarry was the source of granite for the Monterey Breakwater in the 1930s and that it was one of Rocklin’s favorite swimming holes.

Quinn Quarry is close to the Capitol Quarry, which is a few yards to the west. Both quarries are public property and have been the subjects of now-defunct commercial land use plans. A new plan shows the Quinn Quarry as the centerpiece of a Quarry Village featuring shopping and entertainment, and possibly residences, on the quarry rim.

Reach Gary Day at garyday2@gmail.com.