The Rocklin Historical Society

 

Oscar Kesti
1860-1934


Sam Kesti
1877-1945

Prominent among the turn of the century quarry operators at Rocklin were Oscar and Sam Kesti, both native sons of Finland, who arrived in Rocklin shortly before 1900.

Oscar (1860-1934) purchased the "Kesti Quarry" from John Mantyla in 1901. It was located along present-day Taylor Road where the Railroad spur line crossed that thoroughfare. His was a small operation limited primarily to curbing, molding and riprap. Mr. Kesti had five children by his wife Maria (1861-1937). They included Richard J. (1883-1947); Alinna (1887-1947), the wife of Emanuel Martilla; Ivar Kesti (1886-1943); and Aaron (1903-1955), a single man.

Brother Sam, who followed his brother to America, was born in 1877 and died in 1945. His wife was Elizabeth Hirvela (1877-1961), by whom he had four children: Elizabeth, Mildred, Helen and Henry. Daughter Helen still lives in the old family home on South Grove Street. Sam Kesti conducted quarry operations on leased land along Secret Ravine and later on his own lands where the Rocklin Mobile Home Court now stands. His was a small operation limited primarily to riprap and rough stone.

The Kestis typified the numerous small- scale granite operators who worked intermittently at quarrying during Rocklin's Golden Age.

From: Rocklin: Past, Present, Future by Leonard M. Davis. Published by the Rocklin Friends of the Library, Rocklin Ca., 1981.