February 24, 2018
Remarks delivered by Congressman McClintock at the City of Rocklin 125th Anniversary Celebration
When Delavan, Illinois approached its 125th anniversary in 1961, a resident wrote to Wilford Funk of Funk and Wagnalls asking what word described it. Funk couldn’t find one, so he invented the word “quasquicentennial” and it soon appeared in print and entered the English language. It’s an important word on this occasion, and it is a rare word in California -- only 94 other California cities are old enough to have had a quasquicentennial.
The first time the word “Rocklin” appeared in print was on a Central Pacific Railroad timetable in 1864, when the company built its first waystation yard for what was to become the Transcontinental Railroad. By the way, Roseville was just a junction at the time – Rocklin was where the action was. The foundations of the massive turntable can still be seen near the intersection of Front Street and Rocklin Road.
It was Rocklin Granite that built the California State Capitol, the Auburn Courthouse, and much of San Francisco.
When the railyard moved to Roseville and the demand for granite dropped in the decade following cityhood, Rocklin lost 80 percent of its population. That would have killed most communities. Instead, look at it today!
And that brings me to a personal note. After I lost my first congressional race in 1992, I joined a small outfit in Roseville and I moved my family here to Rocklin in 1993. That was 25 years ago: Rocklin’s centennial year.
We lived over on Ford Road for three years on the ridge above the Sunset Whitney golf course. In those days, Stanford Ranch was a two lane road with only a single gas station from the 65 exit all the way to Sunset. Just rolling hills.
It was a tough year for us, but I will never forget a few days before Christmas of 1993 when there was a great commotion out front. I went outside to see a firetruck coming down our small residential street, lights and sirens blazing. They were taking Santa Claus door to door, and I have never seen our kids as excited as they were that night. It took us many, many years to finally convince them that Santa Claus – well, you know. That was the highlight of our Christmas that year – because of a community with a bigger heart than any I have ever known.
One other observation. The next spring, I had gotten something out of my wife’s car on a Sunday afternoon and absent-mindedly forgotten to lock the door. My bad.
A few hours later, we got a call from the Rocklin Police Department. They wanted us to know they had Lori’s purse – they had just apprehended a teenager who had grabbed it out of the car. I have never known of a police department so efficient that they notify YOU that you’ve been a victim of a crime and by the way, don’t worry, it’s solved.
On that day, the Rocklin police department not only saved my wife’s purse – they saved my life!
So Rocklin, as Bob Hope would say, Thanks for the memories. Thanks to the many people who for 125 years have made Rocklin not only a city with a rich history – but a community with an even richer sense of neighborliness. It might not be the biggest city or the wealthiest city, but I rather suspect it is the happiest city – and isn’t that the true measure of civic success?
Like all of us – it’s gone through tough times, but each time it has come back better and stronger. In 25 years, it will celebrate its sesquicentennial and a new generation will stand right here and reflect on their happy memories of an idyllic community.