Historic Rocklin – A Great Place to Call Home for History Buffs

John LaRosa 05/08/2014

History buffs will love living in Rocklin, California because of the vast number of historical sites there are to enjoy. Some celebrate the community’s Finnish ancestry, while others are reminders of the city’s connection to its quarry roots. Fans of Rocklin’s history and its contributions will appreciate the many beautiful sites in this wonderful town.  Living in Rocklin is like living in history.

Finnish Sites

The Rocklin community has a strong Finnish background that has not been lost to the ravages of time. The Old Finnish Picnic grounds just past the end of China Garden Road were once a gathering place for area Finns. Finnish Temperance Hall sits on the corner of Rocklin Road and South Grove Street. The granite industry of the late 19th and early 20th centuries gave rise to an abundance of saloons and, with them, came community-wide drinking problems. The hall was built to help with the problem and acted as a social gathering place beginning in 1905.


The Union Granite Company once operated a quarry in the early 20th century, now occupied by the lake that can be seen at the corner of Rocklin Road and Granite Drive. The Quinn Quarry situated on Winding Lane was run by the Quinn family in the mid- to late-1800s. The Capitol Quarry is also known as the Big Gun Quarry. It opened in 1864 and remained open and active until 2005, when it became the last of Rocklin’s 62 quarries to close. Other quarry sites to visit include the Brigham and Hawes Quarry.

The Rocklin Cemetery was started in the 1850s when an inebriated citizen was buried right in the spot where he died. Rocklin’s City Hall was built in 1912, originally as a company store for the employees of Adolf Pernu’s 20th Century California Granite Company. It has housed everything from a market to a library. There are even a few historic Rocklin, CA homes for sale from time to time. 

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History and the Arts, All in Grass Valley

John LaRosa 05/08/2014

It can be tough to find Grass Valley homes for sale because so many people want to live in this beautiful and culturally rich community. With a storied history that anchors its place in the world and a modern center for the arts, Grass Valley bridges not only time, but vast areas of social and cultural interest, as well.

The Empire Mine State Historic Park houses the remains of what was once one of the West’s most productive and lucrative gold mines. It operated for 106 years and produced 5.8 million ounces of gold. Visitors can take tours of the Bourne Cottage, the home of one of the mine’s past owners; the mine yard; and can even take underground tours. The museum also stages “living events” for the enjoyment and education of its guests.

The Center for the Arts also enriches the community through cultural and educational programs using literary, visual, and performing arts. It has become a hub of activity, serving Nevada County with a wide range of programs that include music, dance, theater, film, visual arts, and more. Located in downtown Grass Valley, the center consists of a 21,000 square foot, multi-purpose facility, a 300-seat main theater, a 90-seat black box theater, 2 art galleries, and classrooms for educational programs.

Grass Valley homes don’t stay on the market long, because buyers realize the value they are getting with a home in such a culturally rich area. If you want to move to a quiet community that is close to a cultural hub of the West Coast, this area might be perfect for you. 

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Museums in and around Granite Bay CA

John LaRosa 05/08/2014

Granite Bay, CA is situated in Placer County in Northern California. It is primarily a residential suburb of Sacramento, but, as such, it is in a wonderful position to offer the best combination of peaceful living with easy access to culture and entertainment. Those interested in Granite Bay real estate may be surprised to know that there are no less than three interesting museums in close proximity to the city.

In nearby Folsom, residents and visitors can see the historic Folsom Prison, now a museum, made famous in the Johnny Cash song. The Folsom Prison Museum has displays on how the compound was built using gray granite from nearby quarries. Old hemp ropes that were used to hang prisoners are on display, as is memorabilia from the shows Johnny Cash once put on here. There are also weapons fashioned by inmates, and an 8-foot motorized Ferris wheel built by a 1930’s prisoner, which was made with nearly 250,000 toothpicks.

In nearby Sacramento, Granite Bay residents can visit the California State Railroad Museum or the Towe Auto Museum. The railroad museum features 21 meticulously restored locomotives and cars, along with many exhibits that demonstrate how the railroad has changed the world. The auto museum features dozens of fine automobiles sure to excite any car buff, from the 1880s, to contemporary models of the 21st century.

With so much to offer, Granite Bay really is the perfect place to live. It is close enough to the big city to find work and have access to entertainment and shopping, while being remote enough to relax and enjoy a slower more leisurely pace. To experience these wonderful attractions year round, Granite Bay real estate could provide a dream come true for you.

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Why Live in Nevada County?

John LaRosa 04/23/2014

One of the things that attracts residents to Nevada County is the natural beauty of the region. With two national forests in the county, a stunning view of the Sierra Nevadas, and Martis Creek Lake, the county appeals to those who want the beauty of California’s climate mixed with the historic appeal of the gold rush communities.

Nevada County borders the state of Nevada, and mapmakers have noted that the county’s borders somewhat resemble a drawing of a Derringer pistol, one of the many weapons popular among miners seeking to protect their claims in the mid-19th century gold rush.

More modern residents looking for Nevada County real estate are often attracted by high tech companies that do business here. Technology has been a part of Nevada County for generations, with the first long-distance telephone company, Ridge Telephone Company, setting up shop here in 1877. More recently, the Grass Valley Group has manufactured and designed video and broadcasting equipment used around the world.  Sometimes called the “Silicon Valley of the Sierras,” Nevada County is home to more than 50 high tech and applied tech companies.

For employees of those companies looking for a place to live, Nevada County may even include land in Rough and Ready, a community that seceded from the United States for a time, calling itself the Great Republic of Rough and Ready. In addition, video game enthusiasts may be interested to know that modern video games got their start in Nevada County with the creation of Pong.

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Nevada County Brings Life to a Golden History

John LaRosa 04/17/2014

A history buff will find plenty of exciting spots to visit when beginning to look at Nevada County real estate. The beautiful scenery of this area coupled with the many historical attractions make Nevada County a great place to live, work, learn and play.

Empire Mine State Historic Park pays homage to the men and women who settled and worked in the area in the 1800s. Mineyard Living History volunteers dress in period costumes while portraying what life was like for the gold miners, blacksmiths, and settlers. A traditional Miner’s Picnic with entertainment, equipment demonstrations, antique cars, a cake walk, and children’s activities is held during the summer.

Alta Sierra Biblical Gardens, a peaceful non-denominational setting, is a welcome haven for Christians, garden groups, artists, or anyone who appreciates the solitude of a gorgeous garden. The old wagon trail used by travelers during the 1860s gold rush leads to a twenty-two acre retreat with a stream, waterfalls and amazing garden with statues based on Bible stories.

Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is a place to focus on the history of the county. Visitors can take part in living history days at least once a month at the park. This gives an opportunity for a hands-on learning experience about life in the mid-1800s. Nevada County will give the historically inclined hobbyist, writer, or re-enactor a golden opportunity to settle in history-rich California.

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Nature Draws Homeowners to Placer County

John LaRosa 04/17/2014

Nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts will find fresh air and plenty of activity when searching for Placer County homes listed with California realty companies. There is always something to do for active singles, retirees, or families who relocate to the area.


Enjoy breathtaking offerings on the scenic Miner’s Ravine Nature Trail which is open to joggers, bikers or anyone who is simply out to walk the family dog.  Keep up with a fitness regime by running or walking on the many trails and back roads in Placer County. Mountain biking is a physical challenge on the American River bike trail. Take a family break and picnic while day hiking in the Tahoe National Forest. The Granite Chief Wilderness area is a protected environment with granite formations, glacier carved valleys, mountain meadows, and miles of trails for serious hikers. This is also considered bear country, which should interest the avid photographer.

Outdoor Adventure

For the avid sport enthusiast there is backpacking and camping in the foothills and High Sierra region of the county. The entire family will enjoy water activities including swimming, parasailing, sailing, kayaking, canoeing, and water skiing at Lake Tahoe, Rollins Lake, Lake Clementine, and Folsom Lake. Areas are open for hunting and fishing, along with access to four-wheel drive trails. Winter activities such as ice skating and snowmobiling are favored in Placer County. The historically well-known Donner Pass, located in Tahoe National Forest, is a recommended cross country skiing and dogsledding area. Placer County homes are the resting spots between trips into the natural environment that the state has to offer.

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Get Fit in Roseville California

John LaRosa 04/09/2014

The town of Roseville, CA is getting more popular by the minute. It isn’t just that this is a great place to live; it’s a great place to cultivate a new kind of lifestyle. In many communities, people tend to work out in their homes; people in Roseville have learned to combine fitness with community and take it to a whole other level.

Consider the Saturday Art Walk that happens every 3rd Saturday of the month between six and nine in the evenings. Businesses stay open and welcome visitors to see the latest artwork of community artists. The community gets to support local artisans, while getting exercise at the same time. It’s a great way to meet other members of the community, get out of the house and support local businesses of all types, while enjoying the simple exercise of walking.

For those who live in Roseville, CA and want a bit more focus on their exercise plan, the Town Square has plenty to offer. You can find yoga and other exercise classes being held at the Town Square on Vernon Street for very little cost. This is a great way for the community to get together and embrace healthy practices, while getting to know each other. Anyone 16 or over can join, so there is ample opportunity for the whole family to do something together while getting healthy and meeting other members of the community. 

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Relive History in Grass Valley

John LaRosa 04/09/2014

Grass Valley, California is a quaint small town that was listed in Time Magazine as one of the top ten places in America to live. Homes in Grass Valley tend to sell quickly, not just because it is a small town or because it was listed in Time Magazine, but because of the historic atmosphere. From old-fashioned hospitality to some of the most famous gold mines in history, Grass Valley reminds Americans of the way life used to be, when times were much simpler.

History plays an important role in any area. Grass Valley just happens to boast the Empire Mine State Historic Park, where visitors can see detailed elements of the California Gold Rush. The Empire Mine was one of the most popular mines in California, because it also happened to be one of the most popular. Visitors can see how things were done and get a glimpse of the past as they walk the trails and note some of the elements that were used back then.  Items like the A-frame that was in constant use as a method by which to load and unload heavy equipment, or the enormous generators that pumped electric through the mines are popular among tourists and residents of Grass Valley.

Visitors will see everything from the Sand Dam where waste ore was dumped to the WYOD (Work Your Own Diggins) mine, where people could rent an area and try to mine the gold from it. In short, there is plenty of history to be celebrated here, from a home in Grass Valley to trails that you can spend days walking on.

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Live Among California History in Rocklin

John LaRosa 04/08/2014

If natural beauty, the environment and California history are among your passions, consider looking at Rocklin homes for sale.

Even with the natural beauty that is all of California, Rocklin manages to set itself apart as a diverse look at the state’s geography. From the granite quarry in the Secret Ravine, to open spaces and wetlands reserved by the city to promote natural beauty within it, looking at Rocklin homes can be an exercise in nature appreciation.

The community’s dedication to preserving the California environment is second only to its dedication to preserving California history. Rocklin happily traces its roots to the California Gold Rush, and many of the areas of town are at least named for the types of immigrants who once lived here. China Gardens, for example, was the temporary home to Chinese immigrants wanting to make a living growing vegetables. Though the residents were chased away in one of the less attractive moments of California history, the name persists.

Residents of Rocklin are also reminded of the Finnish settlers with the Old Finnish Picnic Grounds and Finn Hall. Tradition is important in Rocklin — so much so, that even after birds and weather toppled the steeple at St. Mary’s Wedding Chapel, and thieves ran off with the bell, the tradition continues for brides exiting the chapel to ring the temporary replacement bell for good fortune.

History abounds in Rocklin, and owning a piece of California history, or maybe just a granite countertop from one of the area’s historic quarries, is definitely an option for those who are interested.

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Food Truck Fun, Farmers Markets and More in Granite Bay

John LaRosa 04/08/2014

What will we do when we get there is always something to consider when looking for a new home. When you’re looking at Granite Bay real estate, the answer is: Plenty!

This California community offers something for everyone, and many community events intended to help you have some fun and get acquainted with your neighbors. Every Tuesday, for instance, you can pick up some fresh produce at the community farmers market. On the second Thursday of every month, the community plays host to food trucks, giving your family a chance to enjoy the gourmet and mundane in the almost carnival atmosphere of a food truck gathering.

For retirees and older adults considering Granite Bay, the community has an active adult club called the Gloves and Shovels Garden Club to help pass some time or get some great ideas for landscaping at your new home.

There are public and private tennis courts; equestrian centers, including one that offers summer camps to train young riders; and two public golf courses. If organized relaxation is not your thing, there’s always the quiet enjoyment of Miners Ravine Nature Reserve to help you forget about the stress of life outside the community.

If you’re considering Granite Bay when looking for your new home, you can immediately check entertainment available off your list of requirements. Add that to the gorgeous weather and mountain views, and the recreation options at Folsom Lake, and your decision may be half made.  All you need to do is find the perfect house.

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