Conveniently located within 20 minutes of Folsom Lake and just two hours away from the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco, Rocklin is well-situated for both family fun and serene quiet hours alone. Better yet, with its humble origins as a granite mining town, Rocklin has developed into a beautiful suburban town with scores of welcoming residents and a thriving downtown scene. We at Kreeger Law Firm would like to share some of Rocklin’s unique history with you.
History of Rocklin
Rocklin, California has a fairly long history for a western town, dating as far back as 1864 when the area was named a destination for the transcontinental railroad. Starting as little more than a granite mine and an associated camp, the town wasn’t officially incorporated until 1893 amid railroad construction and granite mining activity. By 1910, the area around Rocklin had grown exponentially due to the mining industry, with over 22 quarries operating in the area. Together, they sent thousands of train carloads of granite to Sacramento, earmarked for use in the construction of the state capitol.
In the meantime, the Whitney family founded Spring Valley Ranch in 1855. This large 30,000-acre ranch north of what was then Rocklin was filled with ranch houses, granite bridges, stables, and barns, all constructed to house the nearly 200 ranch hands and their families. This property eventually became Rocklin’s first developed property. The ranch has since been divided and sold off to interested parties, beginning the formation of many of the suburban communities of the Sacramento area.
Over the past forty years, Rocklin’s expansion has seen astronomical growth, thanks to the tech boom as well as significant growth in other industries. Meanwhile, the affordable cost of living and inexpensive land in the area greatly influenced the commercial and residential development of the region. In addition, many of the granite bridges that crossed creeks on Spring Valley ranch are still there today. These bridges and other granite constructs of the Whitney era have become parks and tourist spots dedicated to remembering the history of Rocklin.
Rocklin’s exponential growth appears to be leveling off, as fewer parcels of undeveloped land remain in the region, but the economic advantages and tourist spots keep the city bustling like never before. Rocklin leaders have since changed their focus to the sustainability and long-term growth of the city, with a special eye towards maintaining the city’s high quality of life. Part of the long-term sustainability plan includes the redevelopment of the existing quarries into granite parks for the community. This shift in development has resulted in major changes to the scenery of Rocklin and the surrounding areas as more granite structures proudly exhibit Rocklin’s place in California history.
The Current Rocklin
Since Rocklin ended its granite mining legacy and welcomed businesses of all industries into its vibrant economy, the city has experienced incredible diversification. The current economy in Rocklin is supported by such varied ventures as multinational corporations, outlet stores, education, and government. Perhaps it’s no surprise that half of the total population of Rocklin holds a bachelor’s degree or higher, while unemployment consistently hovers under five percent. Recreational activities and quality restaurants surround the city, providing a wealth of entertainment for families, singles, and retirees alike.
In its current state, Rocklin has become one of the best places to live in California. Ranked 7th out of 2500 qualified cities, Rocklin is known as a prime place both for tourists and people looking to settle down. The ranking was based on five factors: employment, housing cost and availability, quality of life, education, and health ratios. As you would expect from a top ten city, Rocklin has nationally ranked schools, excellent employment opportunities, and a relatively low median housing cost.
Does Rocklin California Have a Downtown?
Rocklin boasts a beautiful downtown, well-suited for its residents. However, you won’t find giant billboards or flashing lights as you would in New York or Los Angeles. Instead, Rocklin’s downtown area features a unique, laid-back vibe that lies in stark contrast to these bustling metropolitans. The main section of Rocklin’s downtown area is just Highway 80 and Interstate 65. Much of Rocklin’s shopping, entertainment, and dining is located downtown, with the Blue Oaks Town Center serving as one of the main focal points of Rocklin’s downtown area.
In years past, Rocklin did not have what most would call a dedicated downtown area. Instead, the city featured four separate districts, each of which were unique and different from one another. The two college campuses forming Rocklin’s University District are surrounded by artistically finished buildings that speak to the college aesthetic. The Granite District features more of the old Rocklin style, with historical buildings and roads lined with granite. With renewed efforts in the past decade to revitalize the “Old Downtown” area, each of these districts lend themselves to a new, truly downtown feel unique to Rocklin and its history.
What to Do in Rocklin, California
Tourism continues to be a staple in Rocklin, California. People come from miles around to take a drive or hike along the Miner’s Ravine trails or visit the previously operational quarry. However, even if you’d prefer to stay within the city, Rocklin still has you covered. Here are eight go-to activities for those visiting or staying in downtown Rocklin:
- Beat the Room. This fun, family-family friendly escape room will take you through a number of puzzle-filled trials designed to appeal to your inner detective. You’ll need to investigate a series of clues, tips, puzzles, and games—and solve each—to earn your way out. Beat the Room Rocklin can handle up to eight people in its uniquely themed rooms, allowing the whole family to take part.
- Strikes Unlimited. This classic bowling alley features 50 lanes, the Halftime Bar & Grill restaurant, and live music. Serving as both a bowling alley and a community center, Strikes Unlimited hosts a number of events for all ages. The alley holds leagues every week and gives kids two free games to bowl every day during the summer. Bowlers from amateur to professional skill levels are welcome to enjoy the host of entertainment options available.
- Whitney Oaks Golf Club. Whitney Oaks is a regionally recognized, par-71, full-length golf course. This professional-grade golf course offers championship layouts, giving a challenge to golfers of all skill levels. Granite outcrops and well-placed bunkers are situated across the course, lending the whole course a uniquely Rocklin aesthetic. If you don’t have time to play the full-length course, the club has a driving range as well as an in-house restaurant.
- Xtreme Craze. Situated in the Blue Oaks Town Center, this venue features a 7,000 square foot, multi-level, laser tag arena. Up to 46 people can play in their state-of-the-art arena, which encourages hide and seek, tag, and capture the flag game mode, all with real-time score updates. The center also features a game zone named ‘CrazyZone’ that has arcade games, inflatable slides, and mazes. American fare food and drink like pizza, snacks, chips, candy, and soft drinks are all available with in-house high-speed internet and televisions.
- Quarry Park. This park is one of the redeveloped granite parks in Rocklin city’s center. It serves as a community center and amphitheater, hosting a number of events year-round while providing a tranquil granite environment. Along with the community center, Quarry Park includes an adventure park that features rock-climbing, ziplining, and an elevated rope course. Nature mountain trails line the park for hiking, mountain biking, and more.
- The Blacktop Comedy Club. This small-town, community-based club is run by volunteers and features improv, sketches, and stand-up comedy. Blacktop hosts regular shows weekly, featuring comedians suitable for all ages. Those who are looking to improve their comedy and improv skills can take part in the regularly held comedy classes.
- Wilderness Archery. This family-owned business has been serving archery enthusiasts in the Rocklin area since its establishment in 1958. The business serves as both a supply store for archery gear, apparel, and accessories as well as an academy for aspiring archers. The Wilderness Archery Academy offers archery training services for people of all skill levels, using the most effective and up-to-date archery techniques. They also hold an Archery League for you to challenge other practicing archers in the area.
- Rocklin Historical Society and Museum. Rocklin’s premier museum gives history seekers a place to study and learn about Rocklin’s history. Rocks, rails, and ranches are all a big part of Rocklin’s history, and subject to preservation by the Rocklin Historical Museum. Located just across the street from the original transcontinental railroad, you can visit this historical site while exploring downtown Rocklin.
So, does Rocklin California have a downtown? The answer is a resounding yes. Whether you’re the adventurous type that would prefer to see the outdoors, the competitive player who loves challenges, or simply someone looking for something to do with friends and family, Rocklin is guaranteed to have something for you.
If you enjoyed this bit of Rocklin area history, the attorneys at Kreeger Law Firm would like to welcome you to the area. Should you find yourself in need of quality Rocklin personal injury attorneys or other representation, contact our firm for a consultation today.