Rocklin news

Recognizing and commemorating significant contributions

Rocklin, Calif. – The Wall of Recognition, initially dedicated on the 125th anniversary of Rocklin’s incorporation, was created to recognize and permanently commemorate persons, families, business entities, and community groups making significant contributions to the city.

This year’s honorees exhibit the various exemplary traits the Wall honors. From taking on leadership roles in the Rocklin community, to a family that served their City since the 1800’s, this year’s honorees illustrate pillar community members who selflessly strived to make the city they live in better.

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The Joel Parker Whitney Family

Whitney is a name synonymous with Rocklin. The Sunset Whitney Recreation Area, Whitney High School, Whitney Park, and the Whitney Oaks Golf Course, were all named after Joel Parker Whitney, a farmer who served the Rocklin community from 1867 until his death in 1913.

Whitney made his way down to an area in California, later known as Rocklin, around 1852 trying to make his fortune in the gold mines. Although he did not initially find what he was looking for, Whitney made millions investing in Colorado mines and acquired land in the Stanford Ranch Area known as “Spring Valley Ranch.”

Apart from succeeding as a businessman, Whitney and his family were major proponents to the development of Rocklin and the greater Placer County Area. The first train car of raisins ever shipped from Placer County came from the Whitney Ranch. The Whitney family was also known for being major proponents of the natural environment in Rocklin, as they were avid hunters and outdoorsmen. They would change mining ditches to water ditches and diversified a wide variety of agricultural production in Rocklin. Rocklin’s late Mayor, Marie Huson, would often quote Whitney when it came to the natural environment in Rocklin: “If you want to build a road and there is a tree in the way – move the road.”

Warren Jorgensen, the Chair of the Community Recognition Commission, shared his thoughts regarding the Joel Parker Whitney’s Legacy on Rocklin.

“History tells us that he was a public figure of good character and honorable goals for the Rocklin area. He traveled in his life throughout the United States and even to Europe – but in the end – he picked Rocklin to be his home. He was often written about by the San Francisco Examiner and although was the richest man in Placer County he always asked to be described as a ‘simple farmer from Rocklin.’ His name on the Wall of Recognition would add an individual that represents the era of Rocklin’s 1893 incorporation as a city.”

Kathy Lund, Peter Hill, & George Magnuson

For nearly three decades, Kathy Lund, Peter Hill, and George Magnuson have worked together to serve the Rocklin community in a variety of ways.

Each of these honorees served on the Rocklin City Council and dedicated their time to the development of a great number of large projects, including master-planned developments like Whitney Ranch, Whitney Oaks, and Stanford Ranch. Additionally, they were advocates for quality education, and worked closely with the Rocklin Unified School District to ensure that Rocklin’s education systems provided a safe learning environment for students.

The impact these three individuals had outside of the Rocklin City Council shines a light on their inherent need to better their City. Peter Hill served on the Rocklin School Board, while Kathy Lund was active in the Rocklin Historical Society. In addition, George Magnuson led the Opu Cooking Crew, which served food to non-profit organizations who needed it, and was a decades-long volunteer for the Rocklin Fire Department.

Rocklin Councilmember Bill Halldin shared why he thinks these three deserve to have their names forever imprinted on the Wall of Recognition.

“George, Kathy, and Peter worked tirelessly together to make Rocklin the community it is today. Whether it was their service on the City Council or as community volunteers, they remained solely focused on making Rocklin one of the best communities in America. Their collective fingerprints are everywhere in town: residential developments, the preservation of St. Mary’s Church, our park network, the Rocklin History Museum, and much more.”

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