Rocklin Manufacturing Blog

Posted by Ross Rocklin in Rocklin Mfg on 6/22/2023

On May 19th, the Sioux City Historic Preservation Commission awarded us with their “Treasure of Sioux City Award” for the historic renovation of our 1912 building. The original birthplace of Sioux Tools, our home for the past 81 years has the truly unique claim of supporting both world wars within its walls.

After I.J. Rocklin founded Rocklin Manufacturing in 1934 during the height of The Depression, the company manufactured a variety of equipment focused on efficiency and safety on the farm. In 1942, they moved to the then 30-year-old brick building, and 250 employees worked around-the-clock to support the war, including manufacturing escape tank hatches, running gear and shock absorbers. The company was awarded the prestigious Ordnance Flag, which just 13 out of 2,200 applicants received in honor of its outstanding wartime production. The 32’ x 40’ mural painted by local artists Paul Chelstad and Mark Kochen on the building’s south side depicts our company’s WWII support.

Two hastily completed building additions were appended to the brick building to keep up with wartime demand. Eventually, the focus shifted to the westernmost building addition and the original building began to lose its utility. It sat largely dormant and neglected for nearly 50 years, until a historic renovation that was completed in 2018, culminating in a listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 2019.

Rocklin Manufacturing team

We now manufacture and distribute portable products to conquer inefficiency, including the Rocklinizer, MoldMender, FlyMarker, MobiLase, and LaserEvo. This award is dedicated to our incredible team pictured here and to the late Jim Rocklin, who led the company for 40 years until his passing in 2017. The renovated building is also dedicated to Jim’s memory.

As we approach our 90th year in business, we feel fortunate to do so in our 111-year-old, newly renovated building rich with historical significance, located in the heart of Sioux City, Iowa.

Further coverage of the award ceremony can be found here and here, and a video showing the transformation of our building can be seen here.


Tags: treasure of sioux city award , sioux city , certified historic , 1912 , sioux city historic preservation commission , i.j. rocklin , rocklin manufacturing , the depression , wwii , world war ii , national register of historic places , rocklinizer , moldmender , flymarker , mobilase , laserevo , renovations

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