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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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  • Spring Valley (southwest of), San Diego County, California – Independent Stone Company Quarry & Crushing Plant (Felsite) (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.)

    "Independent Stone Company, 713 American National Bank Building, Geo. L. Parker, president, L. J. Rice, secretary. This company produces crushed stone for concrete and sand for the same purpose and for general building operations. The stone quarry is southwest of Spring Valley station on the west side of the track. The crushing plant is on the east side of the railroad at the same point. The rock is a fine grained felsite which forms a hill immediately north of Lemon Grove, rising some 300 feet above the mesa level. The production of crushed stone is 75,000 tons per year…."*

    (* The information on the building sand shipped by the Independent Stone Company will not be included here.)

    Quarry of the Independent Stone Co. Near Spring Valley. Quarry of the Independent Stone Co. Near Spring Valley.
    Crushing Plant of the Independent Stone Co. Near Spring Valley. Crushing Plant of the Independent Stone Co. Near Spring Valley.
    Filling Storage Bins. Independent Stone Co. Filling Storage Bins. Independent Stone Co.
    • Spring Valley, San Diego County, California – the Independent Stone Co. Quarries (Crushed Stone & Sand)  (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. 245.  (Used with permission.)  (This book is available on the Internet Archive – Texts.)

      (pp. 232)

      “During the early part of the century the Independent Stone Company produced large quantities of aggregate from a deposit of metavolcanic rocks near Spring Valley (see description in accompanying tabulated list).  This company, through mergers, became the H. G. Fenton Material Company, now one of the larger rock products companies in the San Diego region.  During the 1910’s and 1920’s the San Diego Stone Company produced crushed stone products from the Sweetwater quarry near Sweetwater Dam.”

      (pp. 245)

      (Map No.)  392a and 392b;  (Company and Operations – or Deposit)  Independent Stone Co., G. L. Parker, pres., 713 American Nat. Bank Bldg., San Diego (1921); (Location)  See below; (Status)Dissolved early 1920’s; (History)  Operated mainly in 1910’s; merged with Fenton-Sumption-Barnes in early 1920’s to become Fenton-Parker Materials Co. which is now H. G. Fenton Material Co.  (Geology)  See below.  (Size of Excavation)  (blank)  (Products)  See below.

      (Mining, Processing, References, and Other Data)  “Chief advantage of both deposits described below was their proximity to the railroad.  (Merrill 14:676-677, 680; Tucker 21b:383; Tucker and Reed 39:50, 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.)

      (Map No.)  392a;  (Company and Operations – or Deposit)  (Independent Stone Co.)  Crushed stone operation (Spring Valley quarry);  (Location)  (392a)  Center E. ½ sec. 30, T. 16 S., R. 1 W., SBM; in Spring Valley, about ½ mile west of junction of State Highways 94 and 67; (See above); (History)  (See above)  (Geology)  Metavolcanic rocks of Black Mountain series  (Size of Excavation)  Quarry 250 ft. long, 100 ft. high  (Products)  Crushed stone used as aggregate and probably other uses.

      (Mining, Processing, References, and Other Data)  “Produced 75,000 tons of crushed stone each year at peak of production.”

      (Map No.)  392b;  (Company and Operations – or Deposit)  (Independent Stone Co.)  Sand operation; (Location)  SW. ¼ sec. 36, T. 14 S., R. 1 W., SBM (proj); about ½ mile south-southeast of Foster, at north end of El Cajon Valley; (Status) (See above); (History)  (See above)  (Geology)  Bed of tributary of San Diego River  (Size of Excavation)  Shallow excavations  (Products)  Sand.

      (Mining, Processing, References, and Other Data)  “Produced 40,000 tons sand each year at peak of production.”    

  • Suncrest District, San Diego County, California – the Clemens 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. 5 on "Figure 1. Index map of San Diego County granite quarries," located in the Suncrest District of San Diego County, produced a gray stone, trade name "Suncrest Gray granite." First year of production was 1946, last year of production was 1948.
    • Suncrest (west of), San Diego County, California – the Clemens Granite Company 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.  (This book is available on the Internet Archive – Texts.)

      (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. 261)

      La Cresta Area (Gray Granite).  Two adjacent quarries near La Cresta were operated by the Clemens Granite Company from 1945 to 1955.  These quarries are in light gray granitic rocks.”

      (pp. 262)

      (Map No.)*  419;  (Name of claim, mine, or group)  Clemens Granite Co. quarry; (Location)  S ¼ SW ½ SE ¼ sec. 4, T16S, R1E, SBM; about one mile west of Suncrest;* (Owner name, address)  Raymond Clemens, 3600 Suncrest Blvd., El Cajon (1958); (Geology)  Light-gray granitic rocks with a slightly gneissic structure.  (*  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)  “First worked by D. McCarthy, in 1945, who produced ‘Suncrest Silver-gray granite’.  From 1946 to 1955 the Clemens Granite Co. worked two quarries, 400 ft. apart.  The stone produced was marketed as ‘Suncrest gray granite.’  Since 1955 the operator has not operated quarries but has finished stone on the property which he has purchased from other San Diego County quarry operators.  Stone is marketed for use as monuments.  (Hoppin and Norman 50:4, 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.)

  • Suncrest District, San Diego County, California – Daniel McCarthy (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. 5 on "Figure 1. Index map of San Diego County granite quarries," located in the Suncrest District of San Diego County, produced a gray stone, trade name "Suncrest Gray granite." First year of production was 1945, last year of production was 1945.
  • Suncrest District, San Diego County, California – the Daniel McCarthy 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. 264.  (This book is available on the Internet Archive – Texts.)

    (Remarks and references)  “See Clemens Granite Company.  (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.)

  • Sweetwater Dam, San Diego County – the Sweetwater Dam Quarry
    • San Diego (southwest of), San Diego County, California – the Sweetwater Dam Quarry (From The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, California, State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1906.)

      "Sweetwater Dam Quarry, E. A. Hornbeck, National City, general manager. This granite quarry is some miles southwest of San Diego, and the product was used entirely in the construction of the reservoir dam."

    • San Diego County, California – San Diego Stone Company Quarry – Sweetwater Dam (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.)

      "San Diego Stone Company, 643 Spreckels Building. President and manager, E. A. Hornbeck; secretary, C. Kalbough. This company produces crushed stone for concrete. The quarry opened in 1887 for Sweetwater Dam, is west of the dam on the south side of the valley. The property consists of 15 acres held in fee, a portion of the Rancho La Nacion. Gates and Simons Dise crushers are operated (circa 1914) by electric power. Daily capacity of plant 400 tons. The annual production of crushed stone is about 49,000 tons. Of riprap and jetty stone 21,000 tons."

      Sweetwater Quarry, San Diego Stone Co. Sweetwater Dam and Mt. St. Miguel. Sweetwater Quarry, San Diego Stone Co. Sweetwater Dam and Mt. St. Miguel.
    • Sweetwater Dam (west of), San Diego County, California – the San Diego Stone Company – Sweetwater Dam Quarry (Broken 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. 249.  (Used with permission.)  (This book is available on the Internet Archive – Texts.)

      (Map No.)  404;  (Company and Operations – or Deposit)  San Diego Stone Company quarry, San Diego Stone Co., 643 Spreckels Bldg., E. A. Hornbeck, pres. (1921); (Location)  SW. ¼ Sec. 17, T. 17 S., R. 1 W., SBM; about ½ mile west of Sweetwater dam; (Status) Inactive since 1920s; (History)  Opened 1887  (Geology)  Metavolcanic rocks of the Black Mountain series  (Size of Excavation)  Quarry 200-ft. long, 50-ft. high  (Products)  Broken stone for riprap.

      (Mining, Processing, References, and Other Data)  “Deposit first worked in 1887 for stone used in construction of Sweetwater dam, which was first in the county.  In 1910’s and 1920’s operated by San Diego Stone Co. which produced riprap for construction of jetties and other uses.  (Aubury 06:53; Merrill 14:680; Tucker 21b:383.)”  (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.)

  • Sweetwater Dam, San Diego County – the Sweetwater Dam Quarry  (The following photographs and the photographs in the “Sweetwater Dam Quarry Photographic Tour” section of our web site were taken in late May 2012.  This is one of the stops on the San Diego County granite quarry tour that Jeff McGreevy took my husband Pat and me on that covered the Santee/Lakeside/Grossmont, et al. areas. Jeff is a member of the Santee Historical Society and the San Diego Gem and Mineral Society. (You can reach Jeff via his email located above if you’d like to contact him directly.) 

    Sweetwater Dam & granite quarry, San Diego Co., CA (5/2012) Sweetwater Dam & granite quarry, San Diego Co., CA (5/2012) Sweetwater Dam & granite quarry, San Diego Co., CA (5/2012)

     

    Sweetwater Dam & Granite Quarry

     

  • Temecula Cañon, San Diego County, California – Granite Quarries  (Granite)  (Excerpts from Ninth Annual Report of The State Mineralogist For The Year Ending December 1, 1889 (pdf), California State Mining Bureau, Sacramento:  California State Printing Office, 1890. 

    “In the Temecula Cañon itself there are now two quarries, one about two miles and the other about three miles below the railroad station.  From the lower one of these quarries, a block was lying at Temecula Station on November tenth, which will dress into a thirty-inch cube, of a dark gray and fine-grained syenite without a flaw.  This block is to form the basis of a monument of some sort at San Diego.  The rock contains a little magnetic iron.  But it appears to be very hard and strong, and will probably take a beautiful polish and prove to be very durable.”

  • Temecula Canyon, San Diego County, California – Limestone Quarry & Kilns  (Limestone/Lime/Kilns)  (Excerpts from Ninth Annual Report of The State Mineralogist For The Year Ending December 1, 1889 (pdf), California State Mining Bureau, Sacramento:  California State Printing Office, 1890. 

    “At one locality within this belt, and on about the middle of the south half of Section 28, of Township 5 south, Range 4 west, S.B.M., there is a considerable body of hard, dark blue, compact limestone.  Here, two small kilns have been built, and some of the limestone burned, producing, it is said, a very good quality of lime.  A company is now being organized for the purpose of manufacturing hydraulic cement by mixing this lime in certain proportions with the clays that occur in such large quantities among the hills northwest of Elsinore.”

  • Temecula Station, San Diego County, California – Granite Quarry in the Foothills on the southwest edge of the Valley  (Granite)  (Excerpts from Ninth Annual Report of The State Mineralogist For The Year Ending December 1, 1889 (pdf), California State Mining Bureau, Sacramento:  California State Printing Office, 1890. 

    “At Temecula Station there was lying (November 10, 1889) a considerable quantity of dressed street paving blocks of a moderately coarse-grained, light-gray granite, which is stained more or less yellowish in places by oxide of iron.

    “The rock seems to be hard and durable, and splits and dresses well.  It has been used for paving-blocks in Los Angeles and San Diego, all for street curbing in both those cities, and also in San Francisco.  The quarry from which it comes is situated in the foothills on the southwest edge of the valley,  about half a mile southeasterly from the head of Temecula Cañon.  And here it may be well to correct an error which occurs on page 174 of the seventh annual report, lines five to eight from bottom of the page, where it is stated that Elsinore Lake, in times of heavy rains, ‘discharges its surplus waters into Temecula Cañon, a branch of Temescal Creek, which runs to the Santa Ana River.’  The writer was led into his mistake about the name of the creek by an erroneous map on which the upper part of Temescal Creek is labeled ‘Temecula Cañon….’”

  • Temecula Valley, California - Granite Quarries. Temecula History - A Chronology 1797-1993, compiled by Emily Gerstbacher. Granite quarrying began about 1883 in the hills south of town. The granite was used for curb stones, foundation blocks, and paving stones throughout California. the quarrying continued until 1915. (The link from which this information was obtained is no longer available. The article was located on the PE.com web site.)
    <http://www.pe.net/~dilemman/History1.htm>

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