Our History

In 1925, William Wallace Mein "Cements" California's Future

The history of Lehigh Southwest Cement (formerly Calaveras Cement) is tied to the history and growth of California itself. In 1925, mining engineer William Wallace Mein incorporated Calaveras Cement in San Andreas, California in Calaveras County.  

Speculating correctly that California would undergo a massive construction boom, Mein and a group of Stockton investors raised the two million dollars necessary to build the first Calaveras plant. Over 15,000 people -  more than 1.5 times the entire county population at the time - attended the formal plant opening in 1926.

The opening heralded the beginning of a multi-million dollar company that would span four generations and take Lehigh Southwest Cement into the new millennium.

 

Lehigh Southwest Cement Milestones

Here are some highlights from our first 75 years. In the future we will be taking an in depth look at some of these and other projects. 

Click here if you have a favorite project that you would like us to feature.

2000s

On February 1, 2002, Calaveras Cement Company changed its name to Lehigh Southwest Cement Company. This name change reflects the strength and unity of our North American affiliates under one common name: Lehigh Cement Company.

The Stockton Terminal upgrade is completed, making it one of the largest cement import terminals in North America.

Lehigh Southwest Cement used for the Alameda Corridor Project in Los Angeles, California.

Lehigh Southwest Cement opened a distribution terminal in Phoenix, AZ, a growing and vibrant cement and ready-mix market.  The Phoenix Terminal began operation and shipments in January '03.

1990s

  • Tehachapi receives President's Gold award for a five year safety record for no lost-time accidents.

  • Lehigh Southwest Cement used for the renovation of the Oakland Coliseum.

  • Lehigh Southwest Cement used in the San Francisco International Terminal Expansion Project.

  • Cypress Structure rebuild project takes more than 50,000 tons of Lehigh Southwest cement.

  • Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific uses Lehigh Southwest cement.

  • The deep water Stockton terminal is upgraded to increase capacity.

  • Modernized Tehachapi plant opens with annual cement production capacity of 850,000 tons.

  • 1980s

  • Redding Plant expanded and updated, doubling production capacity to 650,000 tons annually.

  • Lehigh Southwest closes the historic San Andreas plant.

  • Calaveras adds another terminal at the Port of Stockton, positioning the company to serve the needs of customers in the four-state marketing area.

  • Calaveras Cement acquires the Tehachapi plant.

  • 1970s

    Twenty-nine drivers for Calaveras honored for accumulating a total of 1,190,686 accident-free miles of driving and 5,384,494 miles since the last accident almost five years prior.

    Construction completed at Calaveras’ new distribution terminal located in Union City.

    Modernization of both the Redding and San Andreas plants completed.

    Various freeway projects throughout northern California, Eastridge Shopping Center in San Jose, and the Social Services Building in San Francisco.

    Oroville Dam is constructed using Lehigh Southwest cement.

    1960s

  • Springfield, Oregon bulk transfer facility dedicated.

  • Construction begins on the new Redding plant.

  • Redding plant starts producing with an annual capacity of 280,000 tons.

  • Cement distribution terminal at Sparks, Nevada completed.

  • Construction completed on the cement distribution terminal in Portland, Oregon.

  • 1950s

    Expansion of the San Andreas cement plant completed, more than doubling the plant’s production capacity.

    Lehigh Southwest transport fleet attracts national attention by completing two million miles of accident-free driving.

    Squaw Valley Olympic center project.

    Lafayette Bypass project.

    Parking apron at Castle Air Force Base in Merced.

    Delta Mendota Canal project.

    Improvements to various highways in Northern California including U.S. Highway 40, now Highway 80 and Highway 50.

    1940s

    Virtually all Army, Navy, and Air Force bases in northern California built or enlarged using Lehigh Southwest cement including McClelland Field, Travis Airbase and Mare Island.

    Nearly 800,000 barrels of Lehigh Southwest cement supplied to the Bureau of Reclamation’s Friant Dam project on the San Joaquin River.

    1930s

    More than 100,000 barrels of Lehigh Southwest cement used in the O’Shaughnessy Dam project, making Hetch Hetchy power available to the City of San Francisco.

    Lehigh Southwest cement used in the construction of the Broadway Tunnel, linking the San Francisco Bay Area to the delta region of the San Joaquin Valley.

    400,000 barrels of special formula Calaveras cement supplied for the Bay Bridge project in 1936.

    1920s

  • The first Calaveras plant, in San Andreas California, begins production.

  • Calaveras Cement becomes the first cement company to list shares on the San Francisco Stock Exchange. At that time, the company had just 412 stockholders.

  • Calaveras Cement supplies three-quarters of a million barrels of cement for the Pardee Dam. This first large order helped to establish the reputation of Calaveras as a dependable supplier on major projects.

  • William Mein, and a group of Stockton investors incorporate Calaveras Cement Company.

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