Your History. Your Community. Your Neighborhood Builder.
History is a central part of the Rocklin community. One of the features in historic Rocklin was designed and built by Backyard Unlimited in conjunction with the Rocklin Parks and Recreation Department. Learn more about how we worked to preserve a piece of Rocklin’s heritage and make a space for community members to enjoy.
Building the Pavilion
Around 8 years ago, Backyard Unlimited was approached by the head of the Rocklin Parks and Recreation Department. They wanted to build a structure that community members and tourists alike could use. Located in Rocklin, Backyard Unlimited was an easy choice for the Parks Department since we’re a local business that is dedicated to the culture and history of the town.
The proposal was for a pavilion to be constructed in Peter Hill Heritage Park – on the site of the historic Rocklin Roundhouse. This posed an interesting challenge. The historical district makes an effort to keep things original and doesn’t usually allow new builds. We experienced pushback against building the pavilion because it was a new structure, however we worked with the city to design it to look like an original structure and even took metal roofing from the old train station and used it for the roof of the pavilion!
The Rocklin Roundhouse Site
Rocklin gained recognition as a stop on the transcontinental railroad in 1864, around the same time that granite mining began. The Roundhouse opened in May 1867 to service engines that were needed on the 90-mile trek to the Sierra summit. The Central Pacific Railroad chose to build the roundhouse in Rocklin because it was near where the rail bed steepens as the railroad heads towards Auburn. An engine could also burn up 16 cords of firewood on the journey to the Sierra summit, so it was helpful that Rocklin was close to large stands of oak and pine.
In 1908, the railroad moved all roundhouse operations to Roseville, and the Rocklin facility closed permanently. In its prime, Rocklin’s roundhouse employed 300 people just prior to its move to Roseville.
Peter Hill Heritage Park was designed around the location of the original 1867 Rocklin Roundhouse which was located in a key spot during the eastward construction of the transcontinental railroad into the Sierra. The park layout recreates the layout of the original roundhouse. The Roundhouse included 28 engine stalls, a turntable, and a woodshed. The rose garden is planted between railroad rails that have been placed to mimic where the steam engine stalls were once located.
Serving the Rocklin Community
As Rocklin looks towards the future, city leaders are redirecting their attention from growth to long-term sustainability. This change in focus calls for innovative thinking, yet also presents incredible opportunity. Downtown and Historic Rocklin have great potential for redevelopment while preserving the rich history of the area, like we did with this project.
We love doing projects for the city. Backyard Unlimited was also approached by the city to install a beautiful vinyl gazebo in the backyard of an event venue downtown.
Backyard Unlimited is headquartered in Rocklin, CA. Visit our showroom to see our backyard structures in-person, discuss options, and develop ideas for future projects.
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