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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)


Santa Clara County Sandstone Quarries

The following information is from The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, California, State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1906.)

Goodrich Quarries, Jos. Maddox, owner; operated by the McGilvray Stone Company, Second and King streets, San Francisco. At Graystone station, 9 miles south of San Jose, on a spur of the Narrow Gauge Railroad running from San Jose to Santa Cruz. An extensive body of buff-colored sandstone, which has been quarried in this locality for many years by several different parties.

“The sandstone occurs in beds from a few inches to 10 feet or more in thickness. The present (August, 1904) quarry face shows beds 10 feet, 3 to 4 feet, 10, 6 feet, 6 ½ feet, and 4 to 6 feet thick, respectively. About 50 feet of sandstone are exposed below the bottom of the present quarry, and about 100 feet on the outcrop above the quarry, while a still greater thickness is exposed on the hills immediately adjoining the northeast and northwest. The strata dip 25 N., 75 W., in the quarry opening, but this varies somewhat over other portions of the outcrop.

“Like many sandstones, it is quite soft when first quarried, but indurates on exposure until it has a quite firm, hard surface. In grain, color, and texture the stone is fairly uniform. In a few places some of the iron has been leached out by the surface waters, leaving the stone a mottled yellow and gray; however, only a comparatively small part of the stone is thus affected. In some of the abandoned quarry openings the stone contains iron oxide concretions, which disfigure the stone, but none of these are visible in the present working.

“The freestone character of the rock adapts it to carved work, as is so well shown in the elaborate and intricate carving on and in the costly chapel at Stanford University, Palo Alto.

“The stone is quarried by hand, loaded with steam-power derrick on small tram-cars, and sent down an inclined track about 800 feet to the stone mill and cutting yard near the railway track. The mill is supplied with two gang-saws for cutting dimension stone, and a large crew of stonecutters is at work finishing the stone.

“The stone has been used for building purposes in San Jose and nearby towns for many years, but the greatest and most elaborate monument to the architectural value of this stone is to be found in the many costly buildings of Leland Stanford Junior University, which, with the exception of one or two cement and one or two brick buildings, are constructed of this buff sandstone.”

Stanford Quarry, Santa Clara County (Goodrich Sandstone Quarry) McGilvray Stone Company, California

Stanford Quarry, Santa Clara County (Goodrich Sandstone Quarry) McGilvray Stone Company

Stanford Stone Quarry, Santa Clara County, California (McGilvray Stone Company)

Stanford Stone Quarry, Santa Clara County (McGilvray Stone Company)

Memorial Arch, with church in background, Stanford University, showing types of carved work with the sandstone, Santa Clara County, California

Memorial Arch, with church in background, Stanford University, showing types of carved work with the sandstone, Santa Clara County

General view of quadrangle buildings, Stanford University, constructed of sandstone from Graystone quarries, Santa Clara County, California

General view of quadrangle buildings, Stanford University, constructed of sandstone from Graystone quarries, Santa Clara County


Sespe Canyon Sandstone Quarries, Ventura County, California

Sespe Canyon sandstone quarries located in Ventura County provided building stone in the early 1900’s. Below is a photograph of Sespe Canyon and the Diggs Building (on the right), which was constructed of the purplish-brown sandstone.

The following quotation is from The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, California, State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1906.

“Sespe Cañon Brownstone Quarry…George J. Henley, Sespe, owner. This is the only quarry at present in operation (circa 1906); it is located from 5 to 6 miles from Brownstone, a station on the Southern Pacific Railroad. Most of the stone is loaded for shipment at Brownstone….”

“The stone is a typical brownstone; the coarser-grained varieties have a rich purplish-brown color, and the finer-grained stone has a light reddish-brown color.”

View of Sespe Cañon, Ventura County, showing “Coldwater Anticline,” from The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, 1906

View of Sespe Cañon, Ventura County, showing “Coldwater Anticline,” from The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, 1906

The Diggs Building (on the right) constructed of Ventura County sandstone (located on Main St., Woodland, California

The Diggs Building (on the right) constructed of Ventura County sandstone (located on Main St., Woodland, California

Detail of the Diggs Building (on the right) constructed of Ventura County sandstone (located on Main St., Woodland, California.jpg

Detail of the Diggs Building (on the right) constructed of Ventura County sandstone (located on Main St., Woodland, California

Below the photographs on the left are of samples of Ventura County sandstone taken and contributed by Labe Kopelov of Kopelov Cut Stone, Inc., located in Bernalillo, New Mexico. The wall to the right (below) was constructed of this sandstone.

Sample of Ventura County sandstone, Ventura County, CA (photograph by Labe Kopelov of Kopelov Cut Stone, Inc.)

Sample of Ventura County sandstone (photograph by Labe Kopelov of Kopelov Cut Stone, Inc.)

Closeup of Ventura Sandstone, Ventura County, CA (photograph by Labe Kopelov of Kopelov Cut Stone, Inc.)

Closeup of Ventura Sandstone (photograph by Labe Kopelov of Kopelov Cut Stone, Inc.)

Stone wall constructed of Ventura County Sandstone (photograph by Labe Kopelow of Kopelov Cut Stone, Inc., NM)

Stone wall constructed of Ventura County Sandstone (photograph by Labe Kopelov of Kopelov Cut Stone, Inc.)


Simpson-Pirnie Granite Company, Santee, San Diego County, California

The following information is from The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, California, State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1906.)

Simpson-Pirnie Granite Company, James Simpson, president, San Diego. At Santee, a station on the San Diego, Cuyamaca and Eastern Railway, 3 miles north of El Cajon and 25 miles north of San Diego, is a granite quarry that has been operated for several years. A short railway spur extends from Santee to the quarry, which is on the north side of the El Cajon Valley. The granite is quarried by hand. The stone is a bright-colored, light-gray, biotite-augite granite, which has a reddish to brownish tint on the weathered outcrop. In some places this brownish discoloration from the oxidation of the iron extends several feet below the surface, while in other places it is a mere shell on the surface. In the middle of the quarry face is a dike-like band that shows several open vertical joint seams, but elsewhere on the face the rock is massive and almost free from open seams. It has a remarkable straight fracture, and is easily obtained in regular rectangular blocks as large as can be handled. There is comparatively little stripping to the granite mass and no expensive waste in quarrying. As the quarry is at the base of the butte, the height of the quarry face will increase as it is worked back toward the center of the hill. The stone is quite uniform in texture and color, with the exception of a few small dark blotches caused by a local segregation of the dark mica flakes. It is used largely for monuments, and for this purpose it is cut and dressed at the company's yard in San Diego and shipped in considerable quantities to Los Angeles and other points in southern California. It also makes an excellent building stone, for which it is used to some extent.”

Sheet structure at Simpson quarry, Santee, San Diego County, California

Sheet structure at Simpson quarry, Santee, San Diego County, California


Winters Sandstone / Devil’s Gate/ Putah Creek Quarry, Yolo County, California

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

“The only quarry that is worked to any extent in Yolo County is situated at the Devil’s Gate, in Putah Cañon, about nine miles west of Winters, on the north side of Putah Creek. The formation in which the quarry has been opened appears to extend from a southeasterly to a northwesterly direction. The stone is a compact sandstone of various shades of blue and gray; it is of smooth grain, and occasionally shows particles of carbonaceous matter. Where the rock has been quarried, near the road at Devil’s Gate, it appears to be free from pebbles. It splits with a true fracture, and slabs fourteen feet by sixteen inches by ten inches have frequently been taken out. This stone has been used for many years for cemetery and building work, and it appears to wear well. It is said that it was originally intended to build the Capitol at Sacramento of this stone. The strata exposed at the Devil’s Gate quarry are, many of them, twelve or fifteen feet in thickness, and dip to the northeast at an angle of about 65 degrees. In the part of the cañon where the quarry is situated, the Putah Creek has cut through the upturned strata almost at right angles with the formation....”

The Winters sandstone was quarried at Devil’s Gate by Benoit Bertholet who leased and operated the quarry for many years. One source indicates that Bertholet leased this quarry as early as 1882. David Wilkinson, of Woodland, and Tom Potters, of Winters, and my husband and I have tried to locate the quarry; but we have not found it so far. It’s possible that the old quarry site is located under the Monticello Dam today.

The first two photographs below show the Yolo County side of the Monticello Dam in the area where we believe the Winters sandstone quarry was once located.

 

Photo of area where Devil’s Gate/Putah Creek/Winters Sandstone quarry was possibly located (photo by Peggy B. Perazzo)

Photo of area where Devil’s Gate/Putah Creek/Winters Sandstone quarry was possibly located (photo by Peggy B. Perazzo)

Photo of base of Monticello Dam in area where the Devi's Gate/Putah Creek/Winters sandstone quarry was possibly located (photo by David L. Wilkinson of Woodland; Tom Potters in photo)

Photo of base of Monticello Dam in area where the Devi's Gate/Putah Creek/Winters sandstone quarry was possibly located (photo by David L. Wilkinson of Woodland; Tom Potters in photo)

The photographs below are of a building a two cemetery monuments that were all constructed of Winters Sandstone. All three photographs were taken by Peggy B. Perazzo.

The Michael building (on the left) was constructed of Winters Sandstone. The building is located on Main St. in Woodland, Yolo County, California

The Michael building (on the left) was constructed of brown Winters Sandstone. The building is located on Main St. in Woodland, Yolo County, California

Cemetery monument constructed of Winters Cemetery in the Winters Cemetery, Winters, Yolo County, California (David Wilkinson of Woodland in photo)

Cemetery monument constructed of brown Winters Cemetery in the Winters Cemetery, Winters, Yolo County, California (David Wilkinson of Woodland in photo)

The Mills cemetery stone constructed of Winters Sandstone in the Winters Cemetery, Winters, California

The Mills cemetery stone constructed of gray Winters Sandstone in the Winters Cemetery, Winters, California

 

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