Where did “Rocklin” come from?
Stan Rocklin of
Could that town have been our Rocklin?
According to a
But railroad archives don’t show an 1860’s employee named “Rocklin”. Stan Rocklin and other “Rocklins” have searched around the world via the Internet for 2 years and have not yet identified an 1800’s ancestor in
Another theory about Rocklin’s name, one expressed in some of Rocklin’s written histories, is that “Rocklin” is a corruption of “
A third theory is that “Rocklin” originated in the Gaelic of early Irish settlers. Evidence for the Irish connection is circumstantial but compelling.
In the United State Census of 1860, most of today’s Rocklin was called “Secret Ravine”. The population was possibly centered near today’s Secret Ravine neighborhood, the area of homes, open fields and oaks that we see today on the southeast side of Interstate 80 between
Secret Ravine’s 1860 census counted 440 people. 72 were Irish born. 47 Irishmen sluiced for gold in Secret Ravine’s creeks.
Michael Keating was the local innkeeper. Tom Maloney was the shoemaker. James Bolton owned the farm that he subdivided to form Rocklin’s original town site in 1866. All of these men were Irish. By their numbers in 1860, Irishmen were our area’s dominant immigrant group.
According to Ruhkala there are no enduring memories of the Irish among Rocklin’s old-timers as there are of the Finns who first came here in the 1870’s and the Spanish who arrived here by way of Hawaii in the early 20th century. Our next glimpse of the Irish is the 1870 census which shows that during the 1860’s the Irish miners had abandoned their sluice boxes and settled into railroad jobs. Irishmen made up the largest group of foreign-born Rocklin Roundhouse workers.
Rocklin had probably not been named as of March 1864 when the transcontinental railroad tracks reached our area from
The origin of Rocklin’s name remains a mystery. Stan Rocklin’s clan continues the search. But Rocklin might owe its name to the whimsy of early Irish settlers.
According to the Irish Genealogical Foundation, in 1860 many Irishmen in
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