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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

Federal Subpoena Served to Placer County Sheriff's OfficeThe Placer County Sheriff's Office has received several inquiries about employee internal investigations and a federal subpoena.

Bill to Help Disabled Veterans Heads to GovernorA proposal sponsored by George Runner to protect California's disabled veterans cleared the Assembly this week with unanimous, bipartisan support, and now awaits action by Governor Jerry Brown.

Honda Offers Appealing New Accord Plug-in HybridHonda welcomed a new addition to its lineup for 2014: say hello to the Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid. The new addition makes Honda one of the few automakers to offer

3 Arrested in Baby Formula HeistPlacer County sheriff's deputies arrested three Bay Area burglary suspects and are seeking a fourth after the group stole a large amount of baby formula from the north Auburn Bel Air store

Sample the Sierra Festival at South Lake TahoeFoodies and wine lovers alike will gather in South Lake Tahoe this Labor Day weekend as Sample the Sierra celebrates its 5th anniversary on Sunday, August 31st

Sierra College Supports Former Foster YouthRocklin, CA- - As the school year begins, Sierra College is taking an extra step to ensure that one group of students gets off to a good start.

Roseville Chamber Events September 2014Roseville, CA -- The Roseville Chamber of Commerce featured events for the month of September 2014.

American River Music Festival in SeptemberDip your toes in the river while grooving to world renowned vintage rock, blues, new and old grass, sweet jam and the finest of folk at the 8th Annual American River Music Festival in California's scenic Gold Country

Local Man Earns Inclusion in National Pottery ExhibitionsRocklin, CA-- Sierra College congratulates local sculptor and staffer, Anthony Maki Gill for earning inclusion in not just one, but two national exhibitions this summer

Placer Fish and Game Commission Solicit Grant ProposalsThe Placer County Fish and Game Commission is soliciting grant proposals from non-profit organizations, schools, other organizations and individuals

$7 Billion Water Bond Supported by Sacramento SupervisorsDrought Watch: AB 1471, the legislation placing the water bond on the ballot, asks voters to approve $7.12 billion for projects which will build new water storage facilities, invests in safe drinking water

Gas Prices Under $3 Gallon Coming Soon?Average retail gasoline prices in Sacramento have fallen 3.4 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.79/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey


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