in collaboration with The Spatial History Project

#232. Capital Granite Quarry



The city of Rocklin sits on a 100 miles swath of granite. From the 1860's to the 1920's, the granite industry served as the economic backbone of the city. Rocklin quarries, possibly including the quarry pictured above, supplied the granite for many buildings in Sacramento and San Francisco including the State Capitol Building. The Sacramento Union of March 28, 1864 reported that "the Central Pacific's first paid freight was three carloads of granite from Rocklin bound for a building project in San Francisco" (Rocklin Historical Society). From Crofutt's Transcontinental Tourist's Guide, 1871: "The Rocklin Granite Quarries are close to the station, on the left-hand side of the road. The granite obtained here is of excellent quality, and does not stain on exposure to weather."(173) From The Pacific Tourist, 1884: "From these quarries many of the streets of San Francisco are paved, public and private buildings erected, and herer were cut the immense blocks used for the pavements of the Palace Hotel."(257)


The old quarry is now a Taco Bell at the intersection of Rocklin Road and Granite Drive, just off of the Rocklin Road exit from I-80.As the Rocklin Historical Society notes, "according to former quarry operator and Rocklin mayor Roy Ruhkala, the un-named and idyllic spot in the Union article was probably Rocklin and the quarry was probably the pit behind today's Just Tires store near Pacific Street and Farron. That spot abuts the railroad's main line and is known to be one of Rocklin's oldest quarries."