Ira Lemuel Delano, Rocklin’s leading quarry operator during the last quarter of the nineteenth century, was born in Dixfield Maine on March 28, 1814. His Parents were Caleb Delano, Sr. and Mary R.(Whitman) Delano. His first wife was Isabel Coolidge Bennet, whom he married on September 15, 1843 at Canton Maine. later, he married Mary Ripley (1861-1934).
The Delanos lived in Maine and Massachusetts before sailing for California in the late 1860’s. Ira worked as a merchant, horseman, granite cutter and miner at Auburn, Colfax, Honeylake Valley and Sacramento before removing to Rocklin where he managed the Griffith Quarry there. When Mr. Griffith died in 1889, Ira Delano bought his Rocklin operations from Griffith’s heirs, Julia and David Griffith for the sum of $13,000. From that date to the date of his retirement, the Rocklin Granite Company, as the Delano quarry was called, was Rocklin’s leading Granite business.
In 1891, Mr. Delano built a fine home at the corner of Pine and Grove Streets which was described as the “handsomest residence in Rocklin”. Here he raised his family.
The Rocklin Granite Company (Delano) quarry was located south off present day Granite Road behind the present day A & W Restaurant. Granite from the Delano quarry was used for such projects as the Placer County Court House, The Hibernia Bank at San Francisco, the Mare Island dry docks, and the Reno Court House.
With the decline of the granite industry about 1916, Mr. Delano retired and moved to San Francisco. He died on November 20, 1937 at the Masonic Home in Decato California. During his tenure in Rocklin, Ira Delano was associated with Granite Lodge F & AM and served as its master in 1891, 1892, 1893 and 1896. He was also a member of Rocklin’s first City Council (1893) . He was survived by a son , Albert R. Delano of san Francisco and a daughter, Mrs. I. Appleton.
From: Rocklin: Past, Present, Future by Leonard M. Davis. Published by the Rocklin Friends of the Library, Rocklin Ca., 1981.