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Introduction to Rocklin History Series

Recent archeological evidence indicates earliest human habitation of the Rocklin area at about 7,000 years ago. About 3000 year ago, perhaps as late as 1500 years ago, the Nisenan, sometimes called Southern Maidu, occupied the area. Although Euro-Americans severely disrupted their culture in the 19th century, descendents of these people still reside in South Placer County.

Although Euro-Americans were probably fishing and harvesting game in the Rocklin area in the late 18th and  early 19th centuries, major Euro-American settlement started in the early 1850's as fortune hunters sluiced for gold in Secret Ravine, that area of oaks and dredger tailings that we see today southeast of interstate 80 between Roseville and Loomis.

The area's industrial development started in the mid to late 1850's as the Argonauts abandoned their sluice boxes to quarry granite for public buildings in Sacramento and San Francisco. Boom times for Rocklin started in the mid-1860's as Rocklin quarries supplied stone for construction of the transcontinental railroad between 1864 and 1869 and the railroad located a roundhouse in Rocklin in 1866 to service the extra engines needed for the trans-sierra run.

Rocklin's granite industry survived lean times in the 1870s and early 1880s but began to flourish in the late 1880's and 1890's as the quarries employed pneumatic technology and Finnish Immigrants came to control quarry ownership and dominate Rocklin's social life. Labor strife and competition from cement-based concrete permanently decimated the industry in the early 20th century although one quarry continued to operate until 2004.

Rocklin's round house operations moved to Roseville in 1908 displacing 300 workers. This event coupled with a declining granite industry attenuated Rocklin's growth until high tech industries began to locate here and Highway 80 brought Rocklin within easy commute distance of Sacramento in the early 1960's.

Most of today's Rocklin occupies the southern 12,000 acres of the former Spring Valley Ranch. George Whitney founded this ranch in 1855 and transferred ownership to his son Joel Parker Whitney, called Parker then, in 1873. Buoyed by easy access to rail shipping, and employing cheap Chinese labor formerly employed in railroad construction, Parker built the ranch to 27,000 acres by the time of his death in 1913.
The articles in this series detail interesting aspects of Rocklin's development. The information is from a variety of sources, most of which are mentioned within the text.

Please contact me at garyday@starstream.net if you have questions.  Gary Day


Placer County News Headlines

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Can You Get a Mortgage?Realtor, Julie Jalone, of MagnumOne Realty in Roseville, writes about a the current mortgage underwriting environment, how it is perceived buy potential home buyers and what lenders should do to accelerate the housing recovery here in Sacramento and across the country.

Santa to Visit Roseville Neighborhoods ScheduleRoseville, CA - After talking with Santa, he was able to work some time in his schedule to visit six Roseville neighborhoods this year before the holidays

Holiday Ice Rink in Roseville at GalleriaThe outdoor Bayside Ice Rink at the Westfield Galleria at Roseville is now open for the holiday season.

Rocklin Gets Ready for Santa VisitRocklin, CA -- Once again this year Santa Claus has requested the assistance of the Rocklin firefighters in escorting him through the local non-gated neighborhoods of Rocklin

Old Sacramento Holiday Theatre of LightsKnown as a magical, electrifying and family-friendly holiday tradition in Old Sacramento, the ever-popular and FREE Theatre of Lights performances return on Wednesday

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Immigration Executive Action: Republicans and DemocratsAnother stark contrast of opposing sides on Obama's Executive Action on Immigration, highlighted by two Republican Congressman Tom McClintock's remarks and the California Democratic Party

PCWA Moves Forward on Watershed RemediationIn the aftermath of the massive King Fire, the Placer County Water Agency is taking emergency steps to prevent and manage the runoff of fire debris and erosion into the

Holiday Flu Could Be Grinch This YearWith Thanksgiving nearing and the holiday season upon us, many people will be hitting the malls for shopping, the airways for travel, and interacting with large groups of people

Placer County Honors Citizens with Commemorative CoinsThe Placer County Board of Supervisors honored Dr. Bryce Jessup of William Jessup University and volunteer extraordinaire Fuzzy Jarnagin of Loomis Tuesday, presenting them with


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