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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

Déjà Vu as Gas Prices Ascend to Higher LevelsRoseville, CA,- Feels like we've been here before. Some Roseville motorists might be experiencing a little sense of déjà vu at the gas pump.

Davis Tow Owners, Employees Arrested in Suspected Illegal Towing SchemeSACRAMENTO, Calif. - A two-year criminal investigation by the California Highway Patrol, Valley Division Investigative Services Unit, culminated yesterday in the arrests of five employees

Jessup Warriors keep rolling on with seven-game win streakLINCOLN, Calif. - It was an all-out battle at McBean Park today as the ball game was gridlocked at 4 apiece for four innings between your nationally ranked No. 7 Warriors and RV The Master's Mustangs

Nissan does great job with Armada redesignRoseville, CA, - Historically, changes have not been part of the playbook for the Nissan Armada.

Placer County Water Agency Credit Rating ReaffirmedAUBURN, Calif. - The Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) is in the final stages of refinancing approximately $31.47 million of debt to take advantage of lower interest rates available

Serious Fun at El Dorado Wines Passport WeekendEl Dorado County, CA - Among the top events in Northern California, Passport Weekend is rated a "do not miss" celebration by Rocklin & Roseville Today's travel and entertainment editors.

Birds & Brew Fundraising Event at Moonraker BrewingAUBURN - Gold Country Wildlife Rescue (GCWR) is holding our 4th Biannual Birds & Brew Fundraising Event and this one is proving to be the best one yet!

Culinary Institute of America Event Series In NapaNapa, CA,- The CIA at Copia, The Culinary Institute of America's newest venture in downtown Napa, presents Sustainable Seafood and Bay Area Watersheds as the next event

Thunder Valley Seeks To Hire Qualified Toys "R" Us EmployeesLincoln, CA,- As Toys "R" Us announces the closure of 800 U.S. stores affecting as many as 33,000 jobs, Thunder Valley Casino Resort seeks to immediately hire qualified

Savor, Sip, Road Trip in Sacramento March 24thSACRAMENTO, Calif. - Ready to take a road trip through the wide and wonderful world of local flavor? The California Automobile Museum is proud to present a special gala fundraising event

Roseville City Council appoints Acting City ManagerRoseville, CA,- The Roseville City Council today appointed Dominick Casey to be Acting City Manager, following the recent announcement of City Manager

Going Strong at 20: Mind Institute Hits Milestone(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) - Twenty years ago a small group of frustrated but determined Sacramento-area parents of children with autism decided it was time to fill a glaring hole in medical research

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