Sanford Stone originated in the 1950s when Daniel Sanford began quarrying limestone from Adelaide with just a pick and shovel. He hauled what would become known as Adelaide stone to Los Angeles and sold it for around $25 a ton.
Today, the Sanford Stone Company operation has grown quite a bit. The Templeton-based company’s primary product is Hy Desert rustic stone, a type of metamorphic rock called Pennsylvanian schist, which it mines from its own quarry in the Mojave Desert. The price ranges from $200 to $400 per ton.
The family has also grown. Dave Sanford, who is Daniel’s son, now runs the business with wife Debi Sanford and their grown children, Jessica Porter and Scott Sanford.
Sanford Stone sells its Hy Desert stone all over the Western United States, and at its retail stone yard in Templeton. According to Dave, locals can expect to pay 20 to 25 percent less than retail prices when they buy direct from the stone yard.
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“When you quarry your own stone, you can minimize costs and offer better pricing,” he said.
Hy Desert stone has broad appeal which Dave attributes to its striking range of hues that include gray, blue and gold, with a mica overlay that gives it a subtle sparkle. The stone is hand-split and offered in a variety of forms including flagstone, tumbled flagstone, ledge stone, slabs and boulders. It can be used in several applications such as patios, step stones, walls, fireplaces, and veneers.
Hy Desert stone is dense and durable. It rarely needs sealing for outdoor applications and is resistant to damage from chemicals, making it a good material for pool decks, said Dave.
The Sanfords stock other types of stone at their yard, which include Idaho quartzite, Utah limestone, Arizona sandstone, slate for flooring or roofing, cobbles, and pebbles.
The myriad types and applications of stone can be daunting. So earlier this spring, the Sanfords removed the lawn in front of their offices and installed a demonstration yard with a variety of hardscapes and complementary plantings.
A stroll around the grounds will yield examples of garden walls, patios, and rustic raised garden beds, built with a variety of materials. There is a flagstone path, the spaces between stones filled with several different types of pebbles and ground covers. A dry creek bed meanders alongside drought-tolerant plantings. Boulders are expertly placed to look as if they’ve been there for decades. Inside the log cabin office, there is a stone floor and fireplace.
“All the hardscape cuts down on water,” noted Dave. “And, it’s hard to picture all this when you’re looking at stone on a pallet. Now people have the chance to come in and see what the stone actually looks like installed."
Sanford Stone Company is located at 325 Marquita Avenue in Templeton, phone 466-0650.