Thursday, January 7, 2010

"Mt.Diablo Cement"

On Ygnacio Valley Road across Lime Ridge northwest of Mt. Diablo, scars from open pit quarry operations can be seen to the right of the road, To the left was a tall smokestack that stood for many years until it was recently demolished in an area that in past years was called Cowell but which is now part of Concord... More specifically the Crossings housing tract...This was the site of the Cowell Lime and Cement Company that produced portland cement from 1905 to 1946. The cement plant was one of the largest employers in the area in the early 1900's...This may have been good alternative employment for the residents of the Black Diamond mines canyon just over the hill where the mines were starting to close...The rock was quarried in the Lime Ridge area and carried on a narrow gauge railroad, or by truck, to the Cowell plant where it was crushed, mixed with clay, and then converted to cement in roasting kilns...As a kid I used to go on adventures out there on that part of the ridge and can still remember the big tall white mounds with small caves carved in them by the Coyotes...We used to shoot our shotguns out there by the old slaughterhouse across from the smokestack...Sure is strange not to see that old smokestack anymore I used to enjoy using it as a reference point from the top of the mountain ...partly excerpted from the article "Cowell and It's Cement Industry" by Craig Lyon (1997).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You should put up the historic picture of Cowell in his buggy on Mt. Diablo.