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Nevada County - List of Stone Quarries, Etc.*

(* Please note this list does not include sand or gravel quarries.)

  • Bear River (near), Nevada County, California – Marble Exposure (Marble) (From The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, California, State Mining

    "Bear River. In Sec. 22, T. 15 N., R. 9 E., marble occurs near Bear River, the dividing line between Nevada and Placer counties. This exposure, which is prominent, is an apparent extension of the large bodies of marble in Section 35, same township and range, on the Placer County side of Bear River. These ledges extend north and south."

    • Bear River, Nevada County, California - Bear River Marble (Limestone & Marble) (Excerpt from "Limestone in California," by Clarence A. Logan, California Journal of Mines and Geology, Vol. 43, No. 3, July 1947, California Division of Mines, San Francisco, California, pp. 175-357. Used with permission, California Department of Conservation, California Geological Survey.)

      "Bear River marble has been mentioned as an 'apparent extension of large bodies of marble' on the Placer County side of the river. Where the river traverses the metasedimentary rocks 2 miles west of Colfax, it has exposed some bodies of dark-gray to black limestone and marble. The only development has been on the Placer County side in sec. 4, T. 14 N., R. 9 E., M. D., where some dark-gray marble was produced and used in early days in San Francisco."

  • Cisco (near), Nevada County, California – the Central Pacific Railroad Granite Quarry located between Cisco & Tunnel 5 

    (NOTE: This entry was recently moved from the Placer County quarry section of our web site to this Nevada County section because the quarry was originally thought to be just over the Placer County border. Peggy B. Perazzo)

    (This quarry was once identified as the “Crystal Lake Quarry” on our web site.  Chris Graves and I thought that this quarry was the old Crystal Lake Quarry; but with more research, Chris discovered that the quarry that he visited and photographed was actually a Central Pacific Railroad quarry.  Granite from this quarry was used to supply granite for the railroad.  Chris wrote that the more recent name of the Crystal Lake Quarry was “Gould and Towle Quarry,” which is listed in the Atlas of the United States No. 66 – Colfax Folio.  Another discovery about the Crystal Lake Quarry/Gould and Towle Quarry is that it is located in Nevada County rather than Placer County, as it was described in the articles from the mid-1880s published in Santa Clara County, California.  These mid-1880s articles described the Western Granite and Marble Company’s Crystal Lake Quarry as being located in Placer County.)

    The following photographs were contributed by G. J. Chris Graves of Newcastle, and they are used with his permission.  He indicated that the quarry is located between Cisco and Tunnel 5.   According to Chris Graves, Roy Ruhkala (local historian of Rocklin), told him that the Crystal Lake Quarry was opened for the sole purpose of securing granite for Mark Hopkins’ mausoleum – but it turns out this is not the Crystal Lake Quarries.  Ruhkala also told Chris Graves that “the Southern Pacific Railroad ran a spur line from the then current grade to the Sacramento Cemetery, this to deliver the stones from Wyoming, the Griffith quarry in Penryn, and the Sierra White granite from this (Central Pacific Railroad) quarry to the mausoleum site (at the Sacramento City Cemetery).”

  • Crystal Lake Quarry granite pile, Placer County, CA Crystal Lake Quarry granite pile, Placer County, CA Crystal Lake Quarry area, Placer County, CA

     

     

     

    Crystal Lake Quarry area, Placer County, CA Crystal Lake Quarry area, Placer County, CA

     

     

  • Cisco (near), Nevada County, California – the Crystal Lake Granite Quarry
    NOTE: Originally, I listed the Crystal Lake Granite Quarry as being located in Placer County.

    Recently, G. J. Chris Graves, Central Pacific Railroad researcher, determined that the Crystal Lake Quarry is actually located in Nevada County. (It appears that the eastern border between Placer County and Nevada County has been in dispute for a long time, so the quarries are actually located in Nevada County – not Placer County.) The Crystal Lake Quarries were originally opened to obtain granite for use in Mark Hopkin’s mausoleum, which is located in the Old Sacramento City Cemetery. After my husband Pat and I visit and photograph the quarries, I will update this description with more information and photographs. In the meantime, if you’d like to read about the Crystal Lake Quarries and Mark Hopkins’ mausoleum, you will find the article at: “Mark Hopkins’ Tomb.  The Magnificent Mausoleum Completed – a Detailed Description,” Sacramento Daily Union, Vol. 12, No. 33, September 29, 1880, pp. 1, on the California Digital Newspaper web site. Peggy B. Perazzo, June 2012.

    • Cisco (near), Nevada County, California – the Crystal Lake Quarries – the Mark Hopkins Mausoleum  (The following excerpt is from The Inside Man:  The life and times of Mark Hopkins of New York, Michigan, and California, Vol. 1, Salvador A. Ramirez, 2007, ISBN 0615283152, 9780615283159, pp. 1042.  (Page 1042 of this book is available on Google Books.)

      According to a Sacramento City Cemetery volunteer, Mark Hopkins was on his way to California back from Arizona where he had gone for his health.  Hopkins commented to his wife Mary Frances and his physician, Dr. Nixon, that he was most impressed, loved this ‘marble’ (red granite); and that was why Mary Frances Hopkins chose to have the bulk of his monument made from the Rocky Mountain red granite, which was quarried about 15 miles from Fort Laramie in Wyoming. 

      Within a week after Mark Hopkins’ death, his wife commissioned the mausoleum, which was “Styled on Egyptian lines and to be built of huge blocks of granite hewn from the Crystal Lake Quarries in the Sierra, not far from Emigrant Gap....”* 

      The Hopkins family had a railroad spur constructed to and into the Sacramento City Cemetery to transport the granite pieces so they could be assembled on the site.  Reportedly, the granite was taken up the west side of the cemetery; and a special train was built for the sole purpose of transporting the granite.  This train was later used to transport visitors to the cemetery for funerals.

      “...The tomb was to be situated on a plot 44 by 49 feet and would measure some 20 feet by nearly 17 feet, and 12 ½ feet in height.  The entire exterior of the mausoleum was to be enclosed in highly polished, rose-colored Rocky Mountain granite, brought from a point some fifteen miles from Fort Laramie.”  The mausoleum was completed 20 months later.*

      Once the Hopkins’ mausoleum was set up in the old Sacramento City Cemetery in the Pioneers section, other monuments in the cemetery began to be constructed from the red Rocky Mountain granite quarried near Fort Laramie in Wyoming.

      (*  Theses are excerpts from The Inside Man:  The Life and Times of Mark Hopkins of New York, Michigan, and California, Vol. 1, by Salvador A. Ramirez, 2007, ISBN 0615283152, 9780615283159, pp. 1042.  (Page 1042 of this book is available on Google Books.)

    • Cisco (near), Nevada County, California – Crystal Lake Quarry of the Western Granite & Marble Company of San Jose (Granite) - the Father Serra Statue  The following excerpts are from “The Stanfords and the Serra Statue at the Presidio Monterey” (PDF), by Dorothy Regnery, in Sandstone and Tile, Stanford Historical Society, Vol. 13, No. 2, Winter 1989, pp. 2-5.

      “The statue of Serra was based on a drawing by John W. Coombs, a contemporary of Leland Stanford....”

      “On September 25, 1889, Jane L. Stanford contracted with the Western Ganite & Marble Company for $5,000 in gold coin to create ‘a life-size figure of Reverend Father Junipero Serra.’....”

      “According to the contract, the statue was to be sculptured from ‘...Crystal Lake Granite, like photograph marked Western Granite and Marble Company....’”

      “After sketches were accepted, a half-size clay model was made by Coombs.  In March 1890, photographic ‘views’ of the model were sent to the Stanfords in Washington D.C. and the next month they saw the model in California....”

      “The statue was completed by the ‘autumn’ of 1890.  But on July 1, 1890, the manager for the Western Granite & Marble Co. requested a time extension.  He wrote that ‘owing to the great amount of snow and ice in the Crystal Lake Quarry near Cisco, we have been unable as yet to get that large stone out.'’....”

      “The sculpturing was assigned to the Enterprise Granite Yards, Bisson & Bisson, Proprietors, whose place of business was on First Street in San Jose….”

    • Cisco (near), Nevada County, California – the “Crystal Lake Quarries” of the Western Granite & Marble Company (Granite) (The following article is from the San Francisco Chronicle, Sunday, April 23, 1893, pp. 16.)

      Monuments in Stone: The Output of a San Jose Manufactory

      One of Santa Clara County’s Public Buildings – A Stately Tomb.

      “One of the big industries of San Jose, and in fact one that is known the whole length of the Pacific coast, is that of the Western Granite and Marble Company. This company was organized with a capital stock of $100,000 only about three years ago. From its very interception the enterprise met with success. Behind it were wide-awake, energetic business men, who whenever the opportunity presented, pushed in and established themselves. During the past year their business has increased almost 100 per cent; to-day they are giving employment to over 100 skilled mechanics, and they are producing some of the handsomest work in stone and marble to be found in the country. In all parts of the State they are rearing piles of masonry which will stand for ages as monuments of their skill and enterprise….”

      (Photo caption: “Western Granite and Marble Co., San Jose.”)

      “The Western Granite and Marble Company has extensive quarries in Santa Clara and Placer counties. From its great sandstone quarry, seven miles out from San Jose, is obtained the finest quality of stone for facing and dressing purposes. The company’s granite quarries are in Placer county. Not far from Loomis, in two quarries, they have granite in almost inexhaustible quantity. They own another great granite quarry at Crystal Lake. Besides these native stones the company is its own importer of Italian, Vermont and Tennessee marbles and fine Italian statuary. They also handle in large quantities all kinds of American, Scotch and Swedish granites….”

  • Grass Valley, Nevada County, California - T. J. Ahern - Granite Quarry of T. J. Ahern (Granite) (From The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, California, State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1906.)

    "T. J. Ahern, Grass Valley, obtains blue granite from boulder croppings and ledge formation southwest of Rough and Ready, in Sec. 26, T. 16 N., R. 7 E.; but quarried none in 1904, it is reported, owing to his inability to secure competent labor."

  • Grass Valley (northwest of), Nevada County, California - Pine Grove Quarry (Granite) (From The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, California, State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1906.)

    "E. D. Bridges, at Pine Grove Quarry, in Sec. 8, T. 16 N., R. 9 E., on the Masonic cemetery site in the eastern edge of Nevada City."

  • Greenhorn and Bear River junction (north of), Nevada County, California - Greenhorn River Limestone and Lime Kiln (Limestone) (Excerpt from "Limestone in California," by Clarence A. Logan, California Journal of Mines and Geology, Vol. 43, No. 3, July 1947, California Division of Mines, San Francisco, California, pp. 175-357. Used with permission, California Department of Conservation, California Geological Survey.)

    "Greenhorn River lime kiln was operated many years ago on a small limestone body in sec. 2, T. 15 N., R. 9 E., M. D., about 2 miles north of the junction of Greenhorn and Bear River."

  • Higgins Corner (north of), Nevada County, California - the Lime Kiln Ranch or Jones Ranch Limestone Quarries and Kilns (From Geologic Guidebook Along Highway 49 - Sierran Gold Belt: The Mother Lode Country, Bulletin 141, Olaf P. Jenkins, Chief, California Division of Mines, San Francisco, California, 1949. Used with permission, California Department of Conservation, California Geological Survey.)

    "The Lime Kiln or Jones ranch was the site of a series of limestone quarries and kilns where lime for mortar was prepared at a very early date. Traces of the old workings have been almost obliterated, but partially burned limestone marks the old kiln sites. The limestone bodies are small and are now largely masked by the soil mantle. Chemical analysis of the limestone shows it to be of excellent grade. The Lime Kiln ranch is located three miles west of Highway 49 via dirt road. The turnoff is 5.3 miles north of Higgins Corners and is marked by a white sign."

    • Grass Valley (south of), Nevada County, California - Lime Kiln Ranch (Limestone and Lime Kiln) (Excerpt from "Limestone in California," by Clarence A. Logan, California Journal of Mines and Geology, Vol. 43, No. 3, July 1947, California Division of Mines, San Francisco, California, pp. 175-357. Used with permission, California Department of Conservation, California Geological Survey.)

      "Lime Kiln Ranch in secs. 4 and 5, T. 14 N., R. 8 E., M. D., about 10 miles south of Grass Valley, was the site of an early-day lime kiln and some old reports give the impression that a substantial deposit of limestone furnished the stone for it. This ranch was visited and the caretaker pointed out the site from which lime for the old kiln was taken. The only limestone to be seen is a meager amount of 'float.' A sample of this gave the following analysis:

      Insoluble, 3.17 percent
      Fe2O3 and Al2O3, 0.31 percent
      CaCO3, 94.96 percent
      MgCo3, 1.52 percent

      "Lindgren and Turner (95)* in the Smartsville folio indicate two very small occurrences of limestone here, at the terminations of two narrow strips of Carboniferous rocks which are embedded in amphibolite."

      (* Waldemar Lindgren and H. W. Turner, U. S. Geological Survey Geological Atlas, Smartsville folio (no. 18), 6 pp. 4 maps, 1895.)

  • Nevada City (northeast of), Nevada County, California - Marble Exposures on the banks of the South Yuba River (Marble) (From The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, California, State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1906.)

    "South Yuba. In Secs. 13 and 18, T. 17 N., R. 9 E., J. C. Martens, W. Calenberger, W. C. Harmon and A. L. Martens, of North Bloomfield, made locations in 1894. The marble ledge is exposed in the bed and on the banks of the South Yuba River at elevations of from 1000 to 2000 feet, with croppings at still higher points, having a northwest and southeast course. Lesser occurrences of limestone are found some 4 of 5 miles farther west and downstream, from which lime was burned five or six years ago, but from which no marble has been quarried. These marble deposits are situate about 15 miles northeast of Nevada City, by wagon road."

  • Nevada County, California - the Limekiln on Smith's Property (Kiln) (From The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, California, State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1906.)

    "Limekiln Smith's Property, in Sec. 4, T. 14 N., R. 8 E., Hull & Mitchell, Grass Valley, owners, was formerly a large producer of lime."

  • Nevada County, California - the Limestone Ledge (Limestone) (From The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, California, State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1906.)

    "In Sec. 2, T. 15 N., R. 9 E., lime was formerly burned from a limestone ledge near the east bank of Greenhorn River."

  • Nevada County, California - Ridge Rock Quarry (Rock) (active ca 1996) (From Mines and Mineral Producers Active in California (1994-1995), Special Publication 103 (Revised 1996), California Department of Conservation, Division of Mines and Geology, in cooperation with California Department of Conservation, Office of Mine Reclamation. Used with permission, California Department of Conservation, California Geological Survey.)

    Mine name: Ridge Rock Quarry; Operator: Doug Bonelli; Address & County: P. O. Box 2126, Nevada City, CA 95959, Nevada County; Phone: (916) 292-0121; Latitude: 39.34, Longitude: -121.14, and Mine location number: Map No. 417; Mineral commodity: Rock.

  • North Bloomfield (south of), Nevada County, California - Marble Lens (Marble) (Excerpt from "Limestone in California," by Clarence A. Logan, California Journal of Mines and Geology, Vol. 43, No. 3, July 1947, California Division of Mines, San Francisco, California, pp. 175-357. Used with permission, California Department of Conservation, California Geological Survey.)

    "On South Fork Yuba River, 2 miles south of North Bloomfield, a lens of marble in the Delhi (Carboniferous) formation drew some attention in 1894, and claims were located and held for 10 years or more by a group of mining men who took the name of South Yuba Marble Company. No commercial production resulted.

    "The walls of the river canyon are steep near the deposit, which outcrops over a vertical range of 300 feet or more. The marble is dark mottled to black. An old, unimproved road ends about 1 mile south of the river and 1000 feet above it."

  • Rough and Ready, Nevada County, California - D. C. Morrison - Granite Quarry of D. C. Morrison (Granite) (From The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, California, State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1906.)

    "D. C. Morrison, Rough and Ready, quarries and dresses for monument and other uses fine-grained black and blue syenite granite at his quarry in Sec. 24, T. 16 N., R. 7 E. The granite occurs only in boulders, which have been his source of supply for the past twelve years."

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