Santa Cruz County History - Making a Living



Mineral Survey of Santa Cruz County - Stone Industry (Crushed Rock, Sand and Gravel)
by C. McK. Laizure

Prepared by C. McK. Laizure,
Mining Engineer of the California State Mining Bureau

Except at the plant of the Pacific Limestone Co., where a small tonnage of a siliceous dike rock is sorted out for macadam and concrete, there are no commercial rock-crushing plants within the county; also at the Miller Quarry (see under Lime and Limestone) a small amount of limestone is crushed for macadam and concrete. The latter output is used by the owner on road and street contract work. There is but a single producer of washed and sized sand and gravel; all other material of this kind produced being 'bank run'.

Roach Sand and Gravel Plant

Owner E. S. Roach, 67 Peyton street. Santa Cruz. This plant is situated on the east bank of San Lorenzo River just north of Soquel avenue bridge in Santa Cruz. The property contains 1 1/3; acres. Sand and gravel are recovered from the stream bed by pumping. An 8-inch Byron Jackson centrifugal pump, with 20-foot suction pipe mounted on a barge anchored in the stream, pumps the material against a 40-foot head to a trommel screen at the top of the plant. The pump discharge-line is 8 inches in diameter and at the present time the point of discharge is 450 feet from the barge. The pump is driven by a 75-h.p. electric motor and delivers 1800 to 2000 gallons of water, sand and gravel per minute. Another 15-h.p. motor drives the revolving screens.

Two sizes of sand are produced, a coarse sand for concrete and a fine sand for plaster. The coarse gravel is graded into ½-inch, 1-inch and 2-inch sizes. These are delivered to bunkers or stock piles. The plant has an average capacity of 200 yards per day. Water pumped with the material serves for washing. Short delays occasionally occur due to slides burying the pump suction, but as a rule little trouble is experienced. The barge and pump replace a drag-line excavator formerly used. Four men are employed.

Gibson Sand Pit

E.L. Gibson, 10 Leonard street, Santa Cruz, owns and operates a sand pit at the mouth of a small lagoon on the beach between Santa Cruz and Capitola near Black Point. The beach sand is excavated with a drag-line scraper, a Fordson tractor mounted on sills furnishing the power. The scraper dumps into a bunker from which trucks are loaded. The material is a quite uniform and fairly clean gray sand which is neither screened nor washed. About 120 yards per day can be taken out.

Taylor Sand Pit

R. S. Taylor, 246 Mission street, Santa Cruz, has a bunker and drag-line scraper for excavating river sand from the bed of the San Lorenzo River. This pit is adjacent to the Roach Sand and Gravel Plant near Soquel avenue bridge. It is operated intermittently according to demand.

In addition to the above, other firms and individuals occasionally dig sand and gravel from various points on the river or beach, loading direct to wagons or trucks. Among them are:

Owens Bros. Transfer and Storage Company, 256 Pacific avenue, Santa Cruz. Daniels Transfer Company, 23 Front street, Santa Cruz.


>>Continue with:

Bituminous Rock   Gold Mineral Water
Black Sand Granite Moulding Sand & Peat
Cement Iron Petroleum & Potash
Clay Lime Stone Industry
Coal Limestone   

The Mineral Survey of Santa Cruz County was printed in the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce Annual Report, 1926. Reproduced by permission of the Santa Cruz Area Chamber of Commerce.


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