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Rocks, Rails and Ranches

Rocklin History Tour Stop 3: City Hall was a quarry store

GPS coordinates: N 38° 47.386', W 121° 14.045'
By: Gary Day, Special to the Placer Herald
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This is the third installment of a 19-part series where 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.

This building is at 3980 Rocklin Road.

Adolf Pernu, owner of Rocklin’s early 20th-century California Granite Company quarry, built it as a company store for his employees in 1912. That year is inscribed in a granite frontispiece over the front entrance.

Pernu had purchased the quarry in 1905.

Pernu’s quarry pit, known now as the Big Gun Quarry, is behind the city of Rocklin office building next door at 3970 Rocklin Road. That pit was the source of the granite used in construction of the State Capitol Building in Sacramento in the 1860s.

Businessman Chung Moon arrived in California in 1921 from Hawaii and leased Pernu’s store to operate a grocery market from sometime in the 1920s until the late 1930s. His family occupied the second floor until they purchased the home of Dr. Henry Fletcher across the street at the corner of San Francisco Street and Rocklin Road. Today the Fletcher home is the site of the Rocklin History Museum.

Pernu died in a quarry accident in Sequoia National Park in 1931. His family was unable to operate the quarry profitably, and as the Great Depression deepened, creditors took possession of the store’s building. The city of Rocklin bought the building from a successor owner in 1941 and it has been Rocklin’s City Hall since then.

Rocklin’s old-timers remember that Rocklin’s library occupied the first floor in the early 1940s, when City Council meetings were on the second floor.