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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 if you have questions.  Gary Day

Placer County News Headlines

Halloween Tips to Protect your PetRoseville, CA - Pet owners' goals should be to take all of the necessary steps to minimize these potential hazards, keep your pet secure at home, and ensure a safe and fun Halloween for all."

Free Medical Clinic at Cal Expo October 28- 30A free Medical Clinic offering medical, vision and dental care to those in need will take place October 28- 30 at Cal Expo.

Year-to-Date Regional Savings Exceeds 23 PercentRoseville, CA - Area residents reduced water use 15 percent in September compared to the same month in 2013, according to an analysis by the Regional Water Authority

Placer County Announces Parks and Trail Master PlanAUBURN, Calif. -- One of the many things that make Placer County a great place to live, work and play are our many local parks and trails

Placer Arts Studio Tour and Activities in NovemberRoseville, CA- The 23rd Annual PlacerArts Studios Tour will take place November 11-13, 2016.

West Sacramento Chili Cook-Off at Raley Field in NovemberWEST SACRAMENTO - The West Sacramento Chili Cook-off will be November 19, 2016 from 6 to 10pm in the Legacy Club at Raley Field, and gives Sacramento area residents

Public Invited to Sierra College Patrons MeetingRocklin, CA - The Sierra College Patrons, a support group of the Sierra College Foundation, invite the public and those interested in becoming members of the organization to attend

Roseville and Rocklin Men among those Caught in StingDuring a two-day sting operation last week (October 19-20, 2016) in Folsom (Sacramento County), investigators from CSLB's Statewide Investigative Fraud Team (SWIFT) cited 35 people for various illegal contracting charges.

In Roseville: Creating an Ecosystem of EntrepreneurshipWhat do Roseville, Rocklin, Lincoln, Auburn, Foresthill, Loomis, Colfax, Kings Beach and Tahoe City all have in common?

Solutions sought in North Tahoe Affordable Housing CrisisKINGS BEACH, Calif. -- Placer County continues to work on ways to improve workforce housing in the North Lake Tahoe region.

Send Silence Packing hosted by Sierra CollegeRocklin, CA - Send Silence Packing is a nationally recognized traveling exhibition of 1,100 donated backpacks, representing the number of college students lost to suicide

Harvest Carnival for Deaf Children in RocklinROCKLIN, Calif., - William Jessup University's American Sign Language Program will host a free Harvest Carnival for all children learning or wanting to learn sign language

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