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From Quarry to Cemetery Monuments

California Quarries that Supplied Stone for Yolo County, the Sacramento Area, and the San Francisco Bay Area (Continued)


Benicia Sandstone Quarries, Benicia, Solano County, California

Light brown and multi-colored sandstone was quarried at Benicia in Solano County beginning in the 1880s. There were quarries operated both in the town of Benicia and on the Benicia Arsenal grounds. Benicia sandstone quarried on the Arsenal grounds was used to construct the Benicia Arsenal buildings and was also used in the construction of many of the buildings in Benicia in addition to being used for local cemetery stones.

The following quotation is from the Tenth Annual Report of The State Mineralogist For The Year Ending December 1, 1890, 1890.

Solano County, by W. A. Goodyear, Geologist & Assistant in the Field

“The United States Arsenal at Benicia is built of a yellowish brown sandstone said to have been quarried close by and within the limits of the Government grounds. This sandstone itself is rather soft, but the ground on which the arsenal is built is hard and solid, and the foundations of the building were well laid and the whole structure well built. As a consequence, it has suffered very little from earthquakes. A good many blocks, indeed, have been cracked through here and there, but the stones have not been displaced, and the building has not been really damaged to any noticeable extent....”

(You can view the Benicia Arsenal grounds on Google Maps by searching for “benicia historical museum, benicia ca” using the Satellite view.)

The photograph on the left shows the location of the quarry from which sandstone was quarried to build one of the Benicia Arsenal Powder Magazine, which is shown on the photo on the right. (Last year we placed a photographic tour of the Benicia Arsenal grounds on our web site, in case you’re interested.)

Location of quarry near the Benicia Arsenal Powder Magazine, Benicia, Solano County, California Benicia Arsenal Powder Magazine constructed of sandstone quarried nearby, Benicia, Solano County, California

Location of quarry near the Benicia Arsenal Powder Magazine

Benicia Arsenal Powder Magazine constructed of sandstone
quarried nearby

Sandstone columns inside of the Benicia Arsenal Powder Magazine, Benicia, Solano County, California Close-up of sandstone column inside of the Benicia Arsenal Powder Magazine, Benicia, Solano County, California

Sandstone columns inside of the Benicia Arsenal Powder Magazine, Benicia

Close-up of sandstone column inside of the Benicia Arsenal Powder Magazine

The photographs below are of the Benicia Clock Tower that was constructed from the sandstone quarried on the Benicia Arsenal property. The Clock Tower was once a part of the arsenal grounds.

Benicia Clock Tower, side wall, constructed of sandstone from the Benicia Arsenal grounds (Benicia, Calif.) Close-up of Benicia Clock Tower back wall, constructed of sandstone from the Benicia Arsenal grounds (Benicia, Calif.) Close-up of Benicia Clock Tower back wall, constructed of sandstone from the Benicia Arsenal grounds (Benicia, Calif.)

 

 

 


Casa Blanca Granite Quarry, near the Casa Blanca Railway Station, Riverside County, California

The photographs and quotation below are from The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, 1906, pp. 45.

“Casa Blanca Quarries…Two large granite quarries owned by the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, and operated by the California Construction Company. The quarries are about half a mile apart north and south, and about a mile southeast of the Casa Blanca railway station, and located at the base of the granite buttes of the vicinity. The rock is a medium dark gray granite of rather uniform texture and color, except the occurrence of the dark blotches scattered through the mass…The north quarry has an opening about 100 feet square, with a face of from 50 to 60 feet...The stone is loosened from the bed by blasting.“The south quarry is 100 feet long by 30 feet deep, with a face of from 30 to 40 feet. The stone has fewer dark spots than that of the north quarry and a more even fracture...The rock is a biotite-hornblende granite, bordering on a granodiorite, as it contains much plagioclase and runs low in quartz...A spur from the Santa Fe Railroad extends into both of the Casa Blanca quarries, and the stone is shipped by rail as rubble to the great San Pedro breakwater. Excellent granite for building purposes could be obtained at these quarries.”
Casa Blanca Granite Quarry, Riverside County, California (circa 1906)

Casa Blanca Granite Quarry, Riverside County, California (circa 1906)

Casa Blanca Quarry No. 2 (granite), Riverside County, California (circa 1906)

Casa Blanca Quarry No. 2 (granite), Riverside County, California (circa 1906)

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