The US flag still flies at Cement MT. In Colton

Located on the southern side of the 10 freeway in Colton on Slover, Cement Mountain has been a physical icon of the inland empire for over 150 years.

I remember as a kid going by the mountain on the 10 freeway with my parents on my way to my uncles house in Colton. Back then the MT was estimated to still be around 700 feet high. I often wondered how long it would be before the mountain disappeared and if they would stop digging and blasting for cement.

But 55 years later the US flag planted by former cement plant manager Thomas Fleming, still stands tall, even though it has had to be moved several times as the mountain was ground down by the relentless graders and blasters.

Today, they dig down in the base of Cement Mountain. No one is quite sure how long the digging will continue, I guess as long as the Gypsum they dig lasts. but that means the end of the Portland Cement company at the site. Little Cement Mountain sits just south and waits for the graders to begin their decades long daily grind.

The mountian will have long outlasted its owner who was killed by a bear in the Cajon Pass in 1854. He had settled on the mountain in 1841 and built a cabin on its south flanks with the idea of minning for gold in the near by Santa Ana river. But he noticed that he was building his cabin that he had found something instead. Gypsum Limestone. And he knew some its harding properties when added to just the right amount of water. He had learned that from the local Indians who used the limestone to build their homes and the Spanish who had used its materials to build the missions.

American Indians who inhabited the area long before Slover called the limestone wonder "Tahualtapa" or "The Hill of the Ravens," and the Spaniards called it "Cerrito Solo," meaning "The Little Hill That Stands Alone," according to a Cal Portland news release.

Marble was found first and was quarried from the mountain for several years, but then the marble was exhausted by 1887 and the very young company of Portland Cement began looking at the mountain as a source of building materials. California Portland started extracting limestone from the mountain to manufacture cement in 1894, the hill has been steadily dwindling in scale ever since. I'm sure your grandkids will still see the US flag still flying 50 years from now as cement is continued to be extracted from Colton's Slover Mountain.

Gary Hall, the ghostpainter

Comments

Well it seems that i have found the original flag .Word was that it had been stolen. it was in a back yard in South Colton along with a whole chest of flags they used.

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