ROCKLIN (CBS13) — The last standing monument to Rocklin’s quarry history is coming down.
“We just lived it,”‘ said Paul Ruhkala, who’s family has been involved with quarries and granite for more than a century, “the quarry business was a big part of the city.”
Ruhkala’s grandfather and father operated six quarries during the height of the business in the early and mid 1900’s.
“The granite business was good around 1900,” said Roy Ruhkala, Paul’s father.
The quarry itself has a rich history. Salt and pepper granite from the Rocklin quarry can be found in the state Capitol and other prominent buildings in the West.
But over time, the massive quarry shed that sits perched above the rocks has fallen into disrepair.
“The building represents a threat to anyone who might be in the area,” said Michael Young, a Rocklin city spokesperson.
On Tuesday night, the city voted to tear down the shed and salvage the scraps.
“Save as much of the material as possible and reuse them in quarry district and quarry park to save the history,” explained Young.
“That is not preserving,” argued Carol Ellis, “That is lip service. That is paying lip service to the property and tearing it down.”
Ellis fought to have the shed listed as a National Historic Site. She says the city is violating the law.
“It is protected by state law saying that it can not be taken down and the city is choosing to ignore that and take it down anyway,” said Ellis.
She’d like to see the shed stay, but the city says it’s well within legal rights to dismantle it.
“The safety threat posed by the structure is paramount,” said Young.
The last monument to the city’s rock-blasting past is coming down to make room for whatever the future holds.
“If the shed was in good shape, it’d be a different story,” said Paul Ruhkala.
“I’m glad to see them doing something,” said Roy.
The shed will be torn down in the next 30 days at a cost of roughly $175,000.