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Santa Cruz County – List of Stone Quarries, Etc.*

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

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  • Aptos, Santa Cruz County, California - Old Stone Quarry today the Bamboo Giant Nursery, 5601 Freedom Boulevard, Aptos, California; (831) 687-0100. (The following information is from: “Detour: The biggest bamboo garden on the continent,” in “Via,” by Nino Padova, AAA, November/December 2006, Vol. 127, No. 6, pp. 15.)

    According to this article, the Bamboo Giant Nursery in Aptos is located in an old rock quarry. The nursery is 15 minutes south of downtown Santa Cruz, California. (A map of the pathways in the nursery is available at the nursery in addition to benches on which you can enjoy a picnic lunch.)

  • Aromas, Santa Cruz County, California - the A. R. Wilson Quarry

    (A. R. Wilson Quarry - See: Armoas, Santa Cruz County, California - Aromas Granite Quarry below.)

  • Aromas, Santa Cruz County, California – Aromas Granite Quarry, Santa Cruz County, California – Granite Rock Company History (previously known as the A. R. Wilson Quarry, which originated in Aromas, California) (present-day company - history and photographs) "Granite Rock Company's roots lie deep in the history of the central California coast."
  • Aromas, Santa Cruz County - the Arthur R. Wilson Quarry (Granite Rock Co.) (Book)

    Brigantino: Final Revegetation Plan: Arthur R. Wilson Quarry, Aromas, Monterey County, California, by Habitat Restoration Group, Granite Rock Company, Scotts Valley, California, Habitat Restoration Group, 1993.

    • Aromas, Santa Cruz County - Granite Rock Company (AKA Arthur R. Wilson Quarry, Aromas) (Book)

      Rock Solid: The Granite Rock Story: The First 100 Years, by Granite Rock Company, Granite Rock Co., California, 2000.

  • Bonny Doon, Santa Cruz County, California – The Laguna Limekilns: Bonny Doon, Site Location, Description, and Geology by Robert W. Piwarzyk. This site is presented by the Santa Cruz Public Libraries.
    • Boony Doon, Santa Cruz County, California – The Laguna Limekilns (Bonny Doon), by Robert W. Piwarzyk, Boony Doon, California: Lime Light, 1996. (Book)
  • Davenport, Santa Cruz County, California – Boony Doon Limestone and Shale (Limestone) (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: Bonny Doon Limestone & Shale;
    Operator: RMC Lonestar;
    Address & County: 700 Hwy. 1, Davenport, CA 95017, Santa Cruz County; Phone: (408) 458-5700;
    Latitude: 37.03, Longitude: -122.15, and Mine location number: Map No. 728; Mineral commodity: Limestone.

  • Davenport, Santa Cruz County, California – the Santa Cruz Portland Cement Company’s Plant (Excerpts from “Growth of Cement Industry on Pacific Coast” (pdf), in Concrete-Cement Age, April 1913, Vol. 2, pp. 196-198.  (This magazine is available on Google Books at the following web address.)
    “Where ‘Blue Cross’ Cement is Made:  The Santa Cruz Portland Cement Co.’s Plant from the ocean.” (Fig. 1, pp. 196) “Where ‘Blue Cross’ Cement is Made: The Santa Cruz Portland Cement Co.’s Plant from the ocean.” Davenport, Santa Cruz Co., CA ca 1913

    “The industry on the Pacific coast is a little more than 29 years old.  In the late 80’s and early 90’s, two plants in California were making a natural cement from the argillaceous limestones occurring at Jamul in southern California and at Santa Cruz in the central part of the state....”

    “The Standard Co. located  its new plant, the Santa Cruz Portland Cement Co., at Davenport, Cal., near Santa Cruz, and about 150 miles south of San Francisco.  The raw materials used at this new plant were vastly different from the materials used at the old plant at Napa Junction and consequently there was a great difference in the quality of the finished product, that made at Santa Cruz being a lower grade cement.  The attempt to market the cement from both mills under the same brand was a failure and the company was later reorganized.  The Napa Junction plant marketed the ‘Standard’ brand.  The factory at Santa Cruz was remodeled and a different kind of raw material used.  The product was marketed as the ‘Blue Cross’ brand.  The Santa Cruz plant is the largest single unit in the world, with a rated output of 12,000 bbls. Per day.”

    • Davenport, Santa Cruz County, California – Santa Cruz Portland Cement Company's Plant and Limestone Quarry (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.)

      "Santa Cruz Portland Cement Company's plant at Davenport and the quarry on San Vicente Creek 3 miles north of the plant in sec. 15, T. 10 S., R. 3 W., M.D., have been illustrated and described by Hubbard (43),* Laizure (26),** and Young (25).***

      (* Henry G. Hubbard, "Carbon Dioxide Gas Occurrences in Mendocino and Northern Sonoma Counties," California Journal of Mines and Geology, vol. 39, pp. 301-309, 8 figs., 1943.)

      (** C. McK Laizure, San Francisco Field Division, "Santa Cruz County," California Mining Bureau Report 22, pp. 8-93, illus., 1926.)

      (*** "Quarrying Limestone by Glory Holes," Eng. and Min. Journal-Press, vol. 120, pp. 13-16, 7 figs., pp. 249-253, 5 figs., 1925.vol. 127, pp. 954-956, 1929.)

      "The cement plant has been in operation since 1907. It has a capacity of 10,000 barrels daily and makes portland and high-silica cements. The land holdings are about 1100 acres.

      "The limestone deposit is stripped under contract and is quarried by a combination of glory hole, transfer raises, bulldozing chambers, chute-loading and adit transportation. The deposit has the appearance of a roof pendant but does not show evidence of contact metamorphism near the surface; the effects are those of regional dynamite metamorphism, where the limestone has been recrystallized as a coarsely crystalline semi-marble. There was reported to be 500 feet of backs and the length is reported to be 2800 feet to three quarters of a mile. The quarry-run material is said to have from 85 to 92 percent CaCO3, the balance being mostly 'clay.'

      "An analysis made in 1911 agrees closely with others previously quoted for the district.

      CaCO3, 95.97 percent
      MgCO3, 1.34 percent
      Fe2O3, 0.60 percent
      Al2O3, 0.73 percent
      SiO2, 1.42 percent

      "The manufacture of 10,000 barrels of cement a day requires mining about 2,000 tons of limestone. The company was the first to make use on this coast of bulk loading of a specially designed ocean-going steamer for transporting cement, in conjunction with cement silos and packing plants which were built at Portland, Oakland, Stockton, and Long Beach. A special pier 2327 feet long extending to deep water at Davenport, and carrying the pipes for loading the cement on the steamer, was required. The steamer has a cargo capacity of 422,712 cubic feet."

    • Davenport, Santa Cruz County, California – Santa Cruz Portland Cement Co. (Cement & Limestone) (Excerpt from "California Mineral Commodities in 1951," California State Division of Mines, California Journal of Mines and Geology, pp. Vol. 50, No. 1, January 1954, pp. 59-147. Used with permission, California Department of Conservation, California Geological Survey.)

      (Operator) Santa Cruz Portland Cement Co.; (Address) 324 Crocker Bldg., San Francisco 4; (Location) Davenport.

      (Operator) Santa Cruz Portland Cement Co. (industrial limestone); (Address) 327 Crocker Bldg., San Francisco; (Location) Davenport.

  • Davenport, Santa Cruz County, California – Santa Cruz Portland Cement Co. – Inventory of the Santa Cruz Portland Cement Company Records (pdf), presented on the Online Archive of California (OAC) by the Regents of the University of California. These Santa Cruz Portland Cement Company records are located in the University of California at Santa Cruz Special Collections and Archives.

    (from the web site)  “Background:  Eleven miles north of Santa Cruz on Highway 1, sits Davenport, the home of Pacific Cement and Aggregates, Inc, since 1965, Lone Star Industries Inc. The company started out in 1906 as the Santa Cruz Portland Cement Company when it bought the ancient kilns and lime strata developed by John Q. Packard and F. W. Billing. By 1907, the company had built its plant on it 6000 acre site about a mile below Davenport Landing, and the name of Davenport was given to the new cement company town that began to develop.”

  • Davenport, Santa Cruz County, California – Santa Cruz Portland Cement Co. (Cemex) – “Davenport Cemex plant to shut down for good,” by Kurtis Alexander, Santa Cruz Sentinel.com, online edition, January 23, 2010.

    This article indicates that the Mexico-based Cemex’s Santa Cruz Portland Cement Co. cement plant in Davenport, closed in January 1910.  It was one of Santa Cruz County’s oldest businesses, which opened in 1906.  According to this article, “Cemex took over the plant in 2005, when it acquired British cement producer RMC Group and its worldwide properties.”  The closing of the plant was a surprise to Santa Cruz County community and the employees who worked there.

  • Davenport, Santa Cruz County, California – “Santa Cruz Cement,” by Robert W. Brown, The Industrial Railway Record, October, 1968, No. 21, pp. 314-316.  (Includes some photographs) 
  • Davenport, Santa Cruz County, California – Steam & Excursion – Santa Cruz Portland Cement Co. #2, presented on the Trainorders.com web site.  (Several photographs are available on this web site.)
  • Davenport, Santa Cruz County, California – Santa Cruz Portland Cement Plant Photographic Tour (operated by Cemex until early 2010)  The photographs below and included in the photographic tour of the Santa Cruz Portland Cement Plant were taken were taken by Anthony Meadow on May 30, 2008, during the SIA National Conference that was held in San Jose.  Anthony is a member of the Samuel Knight Chapter of the Society for Industrial Archeology.  According to the article, “Davenport Cemex plant to shut down for good,” by Kurtis Alexander, Santa Cruz Sentinel.com, online edition, January 23, 2010, the Standard Portland cement plant at Davenport was closed in early 2010 – Peggy B. Perazzo
    Santa Cruz Portland Cement Plant (Cemex), Davenport, Santa Cruz County, CA Santa Cruz Portland Cement Plant (Cemex), Davenport, Santa Cruz County, CA Santa Cruz Portland Cement Plant (Cemex), Davenport, Santa Cruz County, CA

     

    Santa Cruz Portland Cement Plant (Cemex), Davenport, Santa Cruz County, CA

     

  • Felton, Santa Cruz County, California – Felton Limestone Quarries (Limestone) (From The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, California, State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1906.)

    "Felton, a station on the Narrow Gauge Railway, 6 miles north of Santa Cruz, is the center of an important lime industry. Two separate beds of limestone, having a northeasterly dip and northwesterly strike, form bold projecting ridges on the face of the mountainside west and northwest of Felton."

  • Felton, Santa Cruz County, California – Felton Quarry (Stone) (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: Felton Quarry; Operator: Granite Construction Company; Address & County: End of San Lorenzo Ave., Felton, CA 95018, Santa Cruz County; Phone: (408) 335-3455; Latitude: 37.04, Longitude: -122.10, and Mine location number: Map No. 731; Mineral commodity: Stone.

  • Felton (?), Santa Cruz County, California - Holmes Lime Co. Plant & Kiln (Limestone) - Excerpt from the Tenth Annual Report of The State Mineralogist For The Year Ending December 1, 1890, California State Mining Bureau, Sacramento: State Printing Office, 1890, pp. 626.

    Santa Cruz County, by W. L. Watts, Field Assistant.

    Lime.

    “The lime industry, which is so extensively carried on at Santa Cruz, has received a great impetus from the activity in building, both in San Francisco and throughout the State, generally. The Holmes Company report their gross production in Santa Cruz County for the two years ending September 1, 1890, at two hundred and twenty-thousand barrels of lime.

    “Their works consist of nine large kilns of the monitor pattern, which are kept continuously running. The land of the Holmes Lime Company embraces a fine tract of redwood timber, from which is derived a supply of fuel to burn the lime, as well as material from which lime barrels are manufactured. They value their plant in Santa Cruz County at over $100,000.”

    • Felton, Santa Cruz County, California – Holmes Lime Co. (Macadam) 24 Sacramento street, San Francisco. (From The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, California, State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1906.)
    • Felton (northwest of), Santa Cruz County, California – the Holmes Quarry (Limestone) (From The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, California, State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1906.)

      "Holmes Quarry; The Holmes Lime Company, 24 Sacramento street, San Francisco, owner. Located on the mountain 2 miles northwest from Felton. The limestone is exposed from the base to the top of the mountain, a height of probably 1000 feet, along the strike, and a quarry face of this height could be obtained if desired. Mica schist occurs in considerable quantities in the limestone, both as continuous bands from 6 to 10 feet thick and in irregular patches. It is readily separated in the quarrying, and the only serious drawback connected with its occurrence is the expense in handling it. In some places there will be a thickness of from 50 to 60 feet of limestone free from other rock, while elsewhere from 10 to 20 feet will be followed by a layer of schist of nearly equal thickness.

      "The principal workings at two levels, one about half way up the mountain, the other near the top of the mountain. There is an incline railway extending from the kilns to the top of the mountain, and the stone is transferred from the quarries to the kilns on this track by gravity. At present, much of the stone is obtained at the head of the incline, where several openings are being made on both the north and south sides of the gulch.

      "There are two quarry openings on the mountainside a quarter to half a mile south of the large quarry.

      "Part of the stone is shipped in rough blocks as it comes from the quarry, but the greater portion is burned to lime in the pot-kilns at the foot of the incline, or in the kilns near the town of Felton, to which the stone is run on a tramways. Burning is done with wood obtained from the neighboring mountainside. The lime is barreled at the kilns in barrels made on the spot. These quarries have been in operation forty years or more."

    • Felton (near), Santa Cruz County, California – Holmes Lime Company (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.)

      "Holmes Lime Company began lime burning in this county in the early eighties near Felton, and continued work there until 1936. Since then title to the property passed to Santa Cruz County Title Company, Santa Cruz.

      "The limestone quarries were on a steep hill rising 1000 feet about 2 miles west-northwest of Felton. Several quarry faces, the highest near the summit, were operated. The limestone occurs interbedded with mica schist. It was white, varied from finely to coarsely crystalline and was considerably shattered. The layers of limestone were said to be 50 or 60 feet thick.

      "The company was an important lime producer, reporting, for example, an output of 220 barrels of lime for the two years ended September 1, 1890, and 70,000 barrels in 1893. Most of the lime was burned in pot kilns near Felton, and in later years a hydrate plant of 25 tons daily capacity was also operated. Continuous kilns were tried here also, but evidently did not prove satisfactory for the shattered, coarsely crystalline limestone."

  • Felton, Santa Cruz Mountains, Santa Cruz County, California – Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park - Limestone Quarries and Kilns in the Santa Cruz Mountains
  • Felton, Santa Cruz County, California - The Fall Creek Unit of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park (Limestone Quarry and Kilns). In the Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains (west of Felton), you will find the Fall Creek unit. On South Fall Creek the limestone deposit was first developed by the IXL Lime Company in the early 1870s. Three granite-block kilns were constructed along with some other structures. The quarry was worked until 1896. The limestone operation was idle for four years until 1900 Henry Cowell purchased the operation and incorporated it into the existing Cowell Lime and Cement Company known as the IXL Lime Company. During the reconstruction of buildings in San Francisco after the 1906 the lime was used in large quantities for mortar. In 1919 the quarry was shut down.
    • Fall Creek State Park (Lime Kilns & Quarry), Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, 101 North Big Trees Park Road, Felton, CA 95018-9665; (408) 335-4598. (The Fall Creek Trail hike and the Kiln Trail both lead to three lime kilns used in processing the lime and the nearby quarry, but the company town which had been built around the kilns is no longer evident.)

      (The following is an excerpt from A Guidebook to Mining In America: Volume 1: West (The Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and farther West), by John R. Park, Stonerose Publishing Co., Miami, Florida, April, 2000," available at Stone Publishing Company. The following quotation is used with permission of the author, John R. Park. If you're interested in a copy of this book, it is available on amazon.com.)

      "The Nature Center in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park includes a room devoted to the Fall Creek Lime Kilns. A video may be watched.

      "The 3 existing lime kilns and a supporting company town (which no longer exist) were built in the early-1870s by the IXL Lime Company.The works were purchased by Henry Cowell in 1900 and incorporated into his lime and cement company. Limestone was blasted from a nearby cliff and transported to the kilns by a gravity railroad. Local timber was felled to fire the kilns. The lime produced was transported to Felton by wagon, then by train to Santa Cruz and finally by ship to San Francisco. Peak annual production reached 50,000 barrels of lime. The operations were shut down in 1919 because of competition from more efficient kilns.

      "The Santa Cruz and Felton Railroad began operation in 1875, and presumably shipped the locally produced lime. Two excursion railroads are related to the SC&F, the Santa Cruz, Big Trees, & Pacific Railway (which runs from Felton to Santa Cruz using diesel locomotives) and the Roaring Camp & Big Trees Narrow Gauge Railroad (which uses historic steam locomotives).

      "Fall Creek Unit of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park features a map of hiking trails in the park and a concise well-written history of the lime works. Discovery Fall Creek...provides substantial additional detail."

  • Felton (near) at Fall Creek, Santa Cruz County, California - the I.X.L. Lime Company (Limestone) - Excerpt from the Tenth Annual Report of The State Mineralogist For The Year Ending December 1, 1890, California State Mining Bureau, Sacramento: State Printing Office, 1890, pp. 626.

    Santa Cruz County, by W. L. Watts, Field Assistant.

    Lime.

    “The lime industry, which is so extensively carried on at Santa Cruz , has received a great impetus from the activity in building, both in San Francisco and throughout the State, generally....”

    “The I.X.L. Company and Messrs. Davis and Cowell also report an increased demand for lime during the last two years.”

    • Felton (northwest of), Santa Cruz County, California – the I.X.L. Quarry (aka Henry Cowell) (Limestone) (From The Structural and Industrial Materials of California, Bulletin No. 38, California, State Mining Bureau, San Francisco, California, 1906.)

      "I X L Quarry; Henry Cowell Lime and Cement Company, 211 Drumm street, San Francisco, owner. Located about half a mile north of the Holmes quarry above mentioned. There are three pot-kilns in use, with a capacity of about 250 barrels per day. The lime is barreled at the kilns in the barrels made at the works and hauled by wagon to Felton station, about 2 ½ miles. The quarry is at the confluence of two deep cañons, with one opening in the steep hill between the two cañons and another opening on the point immediately west. The limestone stratum at the quarry is nearly vertical, and extends from the base to the top of the mountain, with no covering except a little vegetation in the irregularities of the surface. The present quarry face is about 200 feet, but may increase to 400 feet or more as the quarry is worked back, before any stripping is necessary. The thickness of the stone exposed at the quarry is nearly 300 feet, but the entire bed is probably considerably thicker, as the contact with the granite is not shown on either side. The greater comparative durability of the limestone over the granite is shown by the projecting ridges of limestone in the midst of the granite mass, both here and at the Holmes quarry. The wood for burning the lime is obtained from the hills in the immediate vicinity of the kilns."

      Ill. No. 33. I X L.. Limestone Quarry, Felton, Santa Cruz County. I X L.. Limestone Quarry, Felton
  • Felton (near) at Fall Creek, Santa Cruz County, California – I. X. L. Lime Company / Cowell Marble Quarry and Lime Kilns at Fall Creek - Photographs
  • Olympia, Santa Cruz County, California – Pacific Coast Aggregates, Inc. (circa 1943) on Zayante Road in Olympia – “Stone Industry: Crushed Rock, Sand and Gravel (1943),” by Henry G. Hubbard (From; Hubbard, Henry G. “Mines and Mineral Resources of Santa Cruz County,” California Journal of Mines and Geology, January 1943. pp. 50-52. Copyright California Division of Mines and Geology.) (Scroll down to the “Pacific Coast Aggregates, Inc.” section.)

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