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San Diego - List of Stone Quarries, Etc. *

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

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  • Foster, San Diego County, California – Granite Quarries in the Foster Area

    Also see:  “Lakeside” & the “Lakeside-Foster District,” San Diego County, California” entries.

  • Foster, San Diego County, California – Granite Quarries in the Foster District circa 1913  (from the chapter in “California” (pdf), by G. F. Loughlin, in the Mineral Resources of the United States Calendar Year 1913, Part II.  Nonmetals, United States Geological Survey, 1914, pp. 1356)

    “In San Diego County, Foster and Santee are the principal quarry centers, though granite for local use is quarried at a number of places. The granite from Foster has been used in the government buildings at Fort Rosecrans on Point Loma, west of San Diego.  Two varieties of granite are quarried at Foster.  One is a medium gray-fine grained biotite granite, resembling rather closely the well-known gray granite from Westerly, R. I. (Rhode Island).  The soda-lime feldspar is most conspicuous of the light-colored minerals, owing to its white color, whereas the quartz and potash-feldspar are colorless.  The soda-lime feldspar is somewhat altered, and some of its crystals have a greenish tint due to the presence of secondary epidote.  A few of its crystals have been softened by weathering, but such crystals are too small to have any noticeable effect on the appearance and durability of the stone.  The other variety is a light-gray medium to rather coarse grained gneissoid biotite granite of the same composition as the fine-grained variety; all its minerals are free from megascopic alteration.  Associated with the gneissoid granite is a nearly white variety (aplite) containing only a very small quantity of biotite.  It is not known whether this variety can be obtained in commercial quantities.”

  • Foster (near) & north-northwest of Lakeside, San Diego County, California – the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Quarry (Granite/dimension stone)  (from Geology and Mineral Resources of San Diego County, County Report 3, by F. Harold Weber, Jr., Geologist, California Division of Mines and Geology, 1963, pp. 262.  (This book is available on the Internet Archive – Texts.)

    (Map No.)  415;  (Name of claim, mine, or group)  Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway; (Location)  Near Foster, about 3 to 3 ½ miles north-northwest of Lakeside; (Owner name, address)  (blank); (Geology)  Light-gray granitic rocks.

    (Remarks and references)  “Operated in 1913.  (Hoppin and Norman 50;7).”  (To see the bibliography that lists the books cited in the previous sentence, see the “Annotated Bibliographies” section of Geology and Mineral Resources of San Diego County, pp. 283-309.)

  • Foster, San Diego County, California – A. E. Babcock - Granite Quarry (Granite) (From The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, California, State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1906.)

    "A. E. Babcock, Lawyer's Block, Fourth and E streets, San Diego. At Foster, the terminus of the San Diego, Cuyamaca and Eastern Railway, granite is quarried for rubble and shipped to the San Diego breakwater. A spur is run from the railway into the quarry, which is located near the railway station, and the rock loaded by derrick directly on the cars."

    • Foster (near), San Diego County, California – the A. F. Babcock operated Quarry near Foster  (from Geology and Mineral Resources of San Diego County, County Report 3, by F. Harold Weber, Jr., Geologist, California Division of Mines and Geology, 1963, pp. 233.  (Used with permission.)  (This book is available on the Internet Archive – Texts.)

      “In the past, large quantities of riprap have been used in construction of dams and for waterfront projects.  Included with these are the Sweetwater Dam, 1887; El Capitan Dam, 1933-35; and the San Diego breakwater, 1894.  For the breakwater, A. F. Babcock obtained riprap from a deposit of granite rocks near Foster.  The Simpson-Pirnie Company, which was active from 1887 to 1932, produced riprap and rubble as well as dimension stone (it is described in the section on ‘Dimension Stone’)….”

  • Foster (near), San Diego County, California – the California Wire Sawyer Corp. Finishing Plant (Granite/dimension stone)  (from Geology and Mineral Resources of San Diego County, County Report 3, by F. Harold Weber, Jr., Geologist, California Division of Mines and Geology, 1963, pp. 262.  (This book is available on the Internet Archive – Texts.)
    “Photo 79...Foster area.  View southwest toward California Wire Sawyer Corporation which is a producer of surface plates from granite quarried by National Quarries at deposit shown at left edge of photo and from other deposits.  Surface plates are used to calibrate delicate instruments.  Old Cameron-Deering quarry is at right.”  (pp. 256) “Photo 79...Foster area. View southwest toward California Wire Sawyer Corporation which is a producer of surface plates from granite quarried by National Quarries..." San Diego Co., CA

    (pp. 258)

    “In mid-1958, four companies were both quarrying and finishing granite in the county for use as dimension stone:  Pacific Cut Stone Company, Alhambra (Escondido Quarries, Inc.); Allied Granite Company, Los Angeles, Pomona Granite Company, Pomona; and Valley Granite Company, Escondido.  The National ‘Quarries, Inc., Escondido, was producing only unfinished stone.  Five companies were finishing stone only:  California Wire Sawyer Corporation, Lakeside; Clemens Granite Company, El Cajon; Escondido Granite Company, Escondido, Pyramid Granite Company, Escondido; and Southern California Granite Company, San Diego.

    (pp. 262)

    (Map No.)  417 (Plant);  (Name of claim, mine, or group)  California Wire Sawyer Corp.; (Location)  S ½ S ½ SE ¼ sec. 35, T14S, R1W, SBM; near Foster, about 3 ½ miles north-northwest of Lakeside;* (Owner name, address)  California Wire Sawyer Corp., Star Route, Lakeside (1958); (Geology)  (blank).  (*  You can find the location of this quarry on Plate 10 near the end of the book at the link above.  This map covers the Lakeside-Foster, the Escondido, and Vista areas of San Diego County.)

    (Remarks and references)  “Operation at Foster started in 1955 and continued in 1960.  Equipment consist of steel derrick, 3 wire saws, and Patch-Wagner semi-automatic finisher.  Corp. produces surface plates, monument stone, and a small amount of facing stone from unfinished granite purchased from National Quarries.  Most of the granite consumed at the operation is from two quarries:  (1) a quarry adjacent to the finishing operation and (2) the California Cut Stone quarry at Vista (Black granite).”    (To see the bibliography that lists the books cited in the previous sentence, see the “Annotated Bibliographies” section of Geology and Mineral Resources of San Diego County, pp. 283-309.)

  • Foster, San Diego County, California – the Foster Quarry (Granite/dimension stone)  (from Geology and Mineral Resources of San Diego County, County Report 3, by F. Harold Weber, Jr., Geologist, California Division of Mines and Geology, 1963, pp. 263.  (This book is available on the Internet Archive – Texts.)

    (Map No.)*  423;  (Name of claim, mine, or group)  Foster quarry; (Location)  Lakeside-Foster area; “east of station” at Foster.  (Merrill 1914);* (Owner name, address)  Joseph Foster, Foster (1914); (Geology)  Light-gray granitic rocks similar to those at nearby quarries worked by Simpson-Pirnie and Cameron-Deering.  (*  You can find the location of this quarry on Plate 10 near the end of the book at the link above.  This map covers the Lakeside-Foster, the Escondido, and Vista areas of San Diego County.)

    (Remarks and references)  “Leased in mid-1910’s by Pacific Electric Railroad Company which quarried stone for use as paving blocks.  (Merrill 14:672.”    (To see the bibliography that lists the books cited in the previous sentence, see the “Annotated Bibliographies” section of Geology and Mineral Resources of San Diego County, pp. 283-309.)

  • Foster District, San Diego County, California – the John Grant Quarry (Granite/dimension stone)  (from Geology and Mineral Resources of San Diego County, County Report 3, by F. Harold Weber, Jr., Geologist, California Division of Mines and Geology, 1963, pp. 263.  (This book is available on the Internet Archive – Texts.)

    (Remarks and references)  “Worked deposits in Grossmont, Santee, and Lakeside-Foster areas in 1910’s.  Produced gray stone.  See also Waterman Granite Co. quarry.  (Hoppin and Norman 50:7).”    (To see the bibliography that lists the books cited in the previous sentence, see the “Annotated Bibliographies” section of Geology and Mineral Resources of San Diego County, pp. 283-309.)

  • Foster (west of), San Diego County, California – Andrew Lehnberg – Granite Quarry (Biotite Granite) (Excerpt from Report XIV of the State Mineralogist - Mines and Mineral Resources of Portions of California, Chapters of State Mineralogist's Report - Biennial Period 1913-1914, Part V. "The Counties of San Diego, Imperial," by Frederick J. H. Merrill, Ph.D., Field Assistant (field work in December, 1914), California State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1916, pp. 427-634.)

    "Andrew Lehnberg, of Foster, operates a quarry on El Cajon Grant, west of Foster, and about 600 yards south of the Simpson-Pirnie quarry. This is also biotite granite. He also operates a quarry of dark green rock near Lakeside, which Dr. A. S. Eakle has identified as diorite. This material is derived from boulders, no ledge having yet been opened."

    "Dr. A. S. Eakle's determination of (this rock) is as follows:….

    "Lehnberg, Foster. Biotite-granite. Light gray granite. A thin section shows much quartz and orthoclase, a small amount of plagioclase and brown biotite. Grains of magnetite occur."

    • Foster District, San Diego County, California – Andrew Lehnberg (Stone Quarry) (From Commercial 'Black Granite' of San Diego County, California, Special Report 3, by Richard A. Hoppin and L. A. Norman, Jr., State of California, Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mines, San Francisco, December 1950.")

      Located in the Foster District of San Diego County, produced a gray stone. First year of production was 1912 (?), last year of production is not known.

    • Foster (southwest of), San Diego County, California – Andrew Lehnberg (later known as the Meyer Quarry) (Granite/dimension stone)  (from Geology and Mineral Resources of San Diego County, County Report 3, by F. Harold Weber, Jr., Geologist, California Division of Mines and Geology, 1963, pp. 263.  (This book is available on the Internet Archive – Texts.)

      (Map No.)*  (blank);  (Name of claim, mine, or group)  Lehnberg, Andrew; (Location)  Two deposits:  (1)  Meyer quarry SW ¼ sec. 1, T15S; R1W, SBM (proj.); about one mile southwest of Foster.  (2)  near Lakeside;* (Owner name, address)  Andrew Lehnberg, Foster (1914); (Geology)  (1)  Light-gray granitic rocks.  (2)  Boulders of diorite.  (*  You can find the location of this quarry on Plate 10 near the end of the book at the link above.  This map covers the Lakeside-Foster, the Escondido, and Vista areas of San Diego County.)

      (Remarks and references)  “Lehnberg operated in the Lakeside-Foster area from 1912 (?) to an undetermined date later in the 1910’s.  He worked a deposit known later as the Meyer quarry (which see) and a deposit of undetermined location near Lakeside.  (Hoppin and Norman 50:7; Merrill 14:672, 673.).”    (To see the bibliography that lists the books cited in the previous sentence, see the “Annotated Bibliographies” section of Geology and Mineral Resources of San Diego County, pp. 283-309.)

  • Foster (southwest of), San Diego County, California – the McGilvray, Raymond Corporation Quarries (Granite/dimension stone)  (from Geology and Mineral Resources of San Diego County, County Report 3, by F. Harold Weber, Jr., Geologist, California Division of Mines and Geology, 1963, pp. 264.  (This book is available on the Internet Archive – Texts.)

    See:  “Lakeside-Foster District, San Diego County, California – the McGilvray, Raymond Corporation Quarries (Granite)

  • Foster (near), San Diego County, California – the National Quarries (Granite/dimension stone) 

    See:  “Escondido Area, San Diego County, California – National Quarries (AKA Emil Johnson and Sons, Emil Johnson Brothers)  (Granite)

  • Foster, San Diego County, California – the Rossi Quarry (Granite/dimension stone)  (from Geology and Mineral Resources of San Diego County, County Report 3, by F. Harold Weber, Jr., Geologist, California Division of Mines and Geology, 1963, pp. 265.  (This book is available on the Internet Archive – Texts.)

    (Remarks and references)  “See Southern California Granite Company.  (Tucker 25:367; Tucker and Reed 39:43-44, pl. 1).”    (To see the bibliography that lists the books cited in the previous sentence, see the “Annotated Bibliographies” section of Geology and Mineral Resources of San Diego County, pp. 283-309.)

  • Foster (west of), San Diego County, California – Simpson-Pirnie Granite Company Advertisement  (American Stone Trade, May 1910, pp. 24)
  • Simpson Pirnie Granite Company’s Office 821 D Street – Quarries at Santee and FosterDisplay of Simpson Pirnie Granite Company, at “Made-in-San Diego,” Cal., Fair  (American Stone Trade, May 1910, pp. 24)

    Simpson Pirnie Granite Company’s Office 821 D Street – Quarries at Santee and Foster. Display of Simpson Pirnie Granite Company, at “Made-in-San Diego,” Cal., Fair (American Stone Trade, May 1910, pp. 24)
    • Foster (west of), San Diego County, California – Simpson-Pirnie Granite Company Quarry (Granite) (Excerpt from Report XIV of the State Mineralogist - Mines and Mineral Resources of Portions of California, Chapters of State Mineralogist's Report - Biennial Period 1913-1914, Part V. "The Counties of San Diego, Imperial," by Frederick J. H. Merrill, Ph.D., Field Assistant (field work in December, 1914), California State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1916, pp. 427-634.)

      "Simpson-Pirnie Granite Company, James Simpson, president, Peter C. Pirnie, secretary. Office and works. Two quarries are worked."

      "A second quarry of light gray fine-grained granite, controlled by this company (circa 1914), is about 1 ½ miles west of Foster, in the E. ½ of SE. ¼, Sec. 35, T. 14 S., R. 1 W. The product is used for monuments and paving blocks, the annual output being about 3,000 cubic feet of dimension stone and 100,000 paving blocks."

      "Dr. A. S. Eakle's determination of (this rock) is as follows:….

      "Pirnie-Simpson, Foster. Light gray fine grained granite. A thin section shows much hornblende and orthoclase, little biotite and plagioclase. Some magnetite. The orthoclase is somewhat kaolinized."

      "San Diego Granite Works, corner Eleventh and M streets, San Diego, Fred Fickas, proprietor…It now uses stone from the Simpson-Pirnie quarry west of Foster and from Lehnberg's quarry near Lakeside (circa 1914)…."

      (For a description of the second quarry operated by this company, see: Santee Station (near), San Diego County, California - Simpson-Pirnie Granite Company Quarry below.)

    • Foster / Lakeside-Foster District, San Diego County, California – Simpson-Pirnee Granite Company (Granite Quarry)  (From Commercial ‘Black Granite’ of San Diego County, California, Special Report 3, by Richard A. Hoppin and L. A. Norman, Jr., State of California, Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mines, San Francisco, December 1950.”)

      No. 12 on “Figure 1.  Index map of San Diego County granite quarries,” located in the Lakeside-Foster District of San Diego County, produced a gray stone.  First year of production was (?), last year of production was 1932.

    • Foster (near), San Diego County, California – the Simpson-Pirnie Company operated Quarry near Foster  (from Geology and Mineral Resources of San Diego County, County Report 3, by F. Harold Weber, Jr., Geologist, California Division of Mines and Geology, 1963, pp. 233.  (Used with permission.)  (This book is available on the Internet Archive – Texts.)

      (pp. 233)

      “In the past, large quantities of riprap have been used in construction of dams and for waterfront projects.  Included with these are the Sweetwater Dam, 1887; El Capitan Dam, 1933-35; and the San Diego breakwater, 1894.  For the breakwater, A. F. Babcock obtained riprap from a deposit of granite rocks near Foster.  The Simpson-Pirnie Company, which was active from 1887 to 1932, produced riprap and rubble as well as dimension stone (it is described in the section on ‘Dimension Stone’)….”

      (pp. 255)

      “About 37 granite quarries have been opened in the county since 1888.  In 1958, five companies were working a total of eight of these quarries.  The oldest and longest continuously operated granite-producing company in the county was the Simpson-Pirnie Granite Company which was active from 1888 to 1932.  The most productive companies in 1958 were Escondido Quarries, Inc. and National Quarries, Inc.  (see descriptions below).”

      (pp. 258)

      “Lakeside-Foster-Santee Area (Gray Granite).  Twelve known quarries have been opened in this area, which includes the towns of Lakeside, the site of Foster, and Santee.  Only one of the 12 quarries was active in mid-1958, however.  The quarries are in ledge-like outcroppings of massive, light-gray granitic rock which ranges in composition from quartz diorite to granodiorite.  At several points operators also have worked boulders on the surface.  The stone produced in the area most commonly is marketed as ‘Lakeside Silver-Gray Granite.’

      “Two of the quarries are near Santee, alongside the now-abandoned route of the San Diego and Cuyamaca Eastern Railroad which ran from San Diego to Foster.  The more westerly of these two quarries was opened in 1888 by the Simpson-Pirnie Company, and worked by this company until 1932.  It was probably the first granite quarry opened in San Diego County.  The company produced riprap and rubble from 1888 to the early 1900’s, paving blocks from about 1890 (?) to the mid-1920’s, and monument and building stone during the period from at least as early as 1898 to 1932.” 

      (pp. 258-259)

      “Eight of the 12 quarries are near the site of Foster, which was the station at the north terminus of the San Diego and Cuyamaca Eastern Railroad.  The sites of the original quarries were selected mainly because of the proximity to the railroad.  The oldest known workings in the area were opened by the Waterman Granite Company in the very early 1900’s at a point about one mile west of Foster.  Two other quarries – one adjacent to, and the other about one-fourth mile west of the Waterman workings – were opened by the Simpson-Pirnie Company between 1906 and 1915 and worked by this company until 1932, then by Cameron-Deering in 1945 and 1946.  The larger of these quarries now is considered by local operators to be too deep to be worked profitably (see description under Cameron-Deering in accompanying tabulated list).”

      (pp. 260)

      “The Southern California Granite Company worked a quarry which is three-eighths of one mile west of the Waterman workings from 1919 to 1936.  Simpson-Pirnie opened two more side-by-side quarries about 1 ½ miles southwest of Foster, worked them briefly in the late 1910’s, then leased them to McGilvray, Raymond Corporation which worked them from 1921 to 1935.  Other operators near Foster were W. A. Meyer (1922-1930) and Andrew Lehnberg (1912? To 1915? Or 1920?).”

  • Foster, San Diego County, California – Southern California Granite Company Quarry (Granite) 

    See:  “Lakeside, San Diego County, California – Southern California Granite Company Quarry (Granite)

  • Foster (west of), San Diego County, California – Mrs. W. S. Waterman (Granite Quarry) (From The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, California, State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1906.)

    "Mrs. W. S. Waterman, Hawthorn and Albatross streets, San Diego. The quarry is in the cañon about a mile west of Foster. The granite is hauled by wagon to Foster, where it is loaded on cars for shipment. The product is used for building and monument stone. The four Government buildings at Fort Rosecrans, on Point Loma, erected in 1903-04, are constructed of granite from this quarry. The stone is light-colored and very fine-grained, bordering on a felsite in places."

    • Foster (northeast of), San Diego County, California – Waterman Granite Quarry (Biotite Granite) (Excerpt from Report XIV of the State Mineralogist - Mines and Mineral Resources of Portions of California, Chapters of State Mineralogist's Report - Biennial Period 1913-1914, Part V. "The Counties of San Diego, Imperial," by Frederick J. H. Merrill, Ph.D., Field Assistant (field work in December, 1914), California State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1916, pp. 427-634.)

      "The old Waterman quarry lies 1 ¼ miles northeast of Foster, near the road to Ramona, in E. ½ of SW. ¼ of Sec. 30, T. 14 S., R. 1 E. It is now owned by Mrs. Emma Cartwright, of Foster, and worked by James and John Grant, of the same place. The rock is a biotite granite, and was used for the Government buildings at Fort Rosecrans."

      "Dr. A. S. Eakle's determination of (this rock) is as follows:….

      "Waterman, Foster. Granite. A thin section shows quartz, orthoclase, a little plagioclase, some biotite in stringers, very small hornblende, chlorite and magnetite. The orthoclase is slightly kaolinized."

    • Foster District, San Diego County, California – Waterman Granite Company Granite Quarry (Granite) (From Commercial 'Black Granite' of San Diego County, California, Special Report 3, by Richard A. Hoppin and L. A. Norman, Jr., State of California, Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mines, San Francisco, December 1950.")

      Located in the Foster District of San Diego County, produced a gray stone. First year of production was 1903, last year of production was 1904.

  • Foster, San Diego County, California – the Waterman Granite Deposit - Jetty at the entrance to San Diego Bay  (from Geology and Mineral Resources of San Diego County, County Report 3, by F. Harold Weber, Jr., Geologist, California Division of Mines and Geology, 1963, pp. 37) (This book is available on the Internet Archives – Texts.)

    “The construction of the railroad enabled a new phase of the mining industry to begin in the county – large-scale quarrying of stone.  In 1888 the Simpson-Pirnie Company opened a quarry adjacent to the railroad south of Lakeside, and was to operate it until 1932.  The company quarried blocks of granite which were transported by rail to the company yard in San Diego where they could be processed and distributed for sale as riprap and rubble, later as paving blocks, and beginning in 1898, as polished monument and building stone.  In 1894, stone quarried from the Waterman Deposit at Foster was used to construct the jetty at the entrance to San Diego Bay.  By 1900 several other dimension stone producers had begun to operate in the Foster-Lakeside area.”

  • Foster Station (east of), San Diego County, California – Joseph Foster (Granite Quarry) (Excerpt from Report XIV of the State Mineralogist - Mines and Mineral Resources of Portions of California, Chapters of State Mineralogist's Report - Biennial Period 1913-1914, Part V. "The Counties of San Diego, Imperial," by Frederick J. H. Merrill, Ph.D., Field Assistant (field work in December, 1914), California State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1916, pp. 427-634.)

    "The old quarry east of the station, owned by Joseph Foster, of Foster and San Diego, is now idle (circa 1914). Until recently, it was leased by the Pacific Electric Railroad Company which quarried paving blocks there."

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