Biography / Administrative History
Scope and Content of Collection
Title: George G. Pollock papers
Bulk Dates: 1940-1975
Collection number: MS0032
Pollock, George G.
Pollock, George G. Jr.
9.5 linear feet
(9 boxes + 1 oversized map drawer)
Center for Sacramento History
Sacramento, California 95811-0229
Abstract: The George Gordon Pollock Papers, held by the Sacramento Archives and Museum Collection Center, reflects the life work of
the man himself. Before and after World War II, Pollock’s firm built some of the most important and recognizable features
of California’s physical and cultural landscape, including the Shasta Dam, the All American Canal and Boulder Dam, and Tower
Bridge of Sacramento. The collection contains four series: Business, Personal, Photographs, and Oversized Material. The earliest
artifact in the collection dates from 1905, while the most recent document dates from 1975. However, most of the document
dates range between 1940 and 1975. The wide array of materials in the collection include correspondence, legal and financial
documents, newspaper clippings, books, scrapbooks, awards and certificates, photograph prints and negatives, maps, site surveys,
and technical diagrams. George Gordon Pollock Jr., George Pollock’s son, created many of the documents in the collection.
Languages represented in the collection:
Collection is open for research use.
All requests to publish or quote from private collections held by the Center for Sacramento History (CSH) must be submitted
in writing to email@example.com. Permission for publication is given on behalf of CSH as the owner of the physical
items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the patron.
No permission is necessary to publish or quote from public records.
[Identification of item and/or item number], [box and folder number], George G. Pollock papers, MS0032, Center for Sacramento
Don Perry, Executor for Mrs. Gordon Pollock, donated the George G. Pollock Papers to the Sacramento Archives and Museum Collection
Center in 1985 (accession #1985/088). The contents included a “collection of miscellaneous papers, photographs, and memorabilia
of the Pollock Family”. The Sacramento Archives and Museum Collection Center transferred additional photographs and memorabilia
relating to World War II to the San Joaquin Pioneer and Historical Society in Stockton.
George G. Pollock Papers processed by Sean de Courcy and Joy Rowe, 2009. Finding Aid prepared by Sean de Courcy and Joy Rowe.
Biography / Administrative History
John Pollock and Katherine Rachel Mitchell gave birth to George Gordon Pollock in Charleston, Indiana in 1885. George G. Pollock
began studying civil engineering at Purdue University in 1901. After graduation in 1905, Pollock moved to Omaha, Nebraska,
where he took his first engineering job.
Pollock worked in Omaha until 1909, when the Western Bridge and Construction Company enticed the ambitious young engineer
to come to Sacramento, where he worked for the next nine years. During his time with the Western Bridge and Construction
Company, Pollock saved enough to start his own construction firm, and in 1918, Pollock founded his first business, the Pollock
In 1913 Pollock married Irma Phleger. While his career expanded, so too did the Pollock family. The Pollock-Phleger union
produced three sons: George G. Pollock Jr., Alan Harper Pollock, and John Phleger Pollock.
Over the next twenty years, Pollock’s company had both good times and bad. These trends were exacerbated by the booms in
the 1920s, followed by the hardships during the Great Depression. However, with the outbreak of World War II, Pollock began
to rethink his construction operation in Sacramento, and in 1942 Pollock and his firm moved to Stockton, California. Stockton’s
large inland ship channel proved invaluable for Pollock’s new Pollock-Stockton Shipbuilding Company. Pollock’s shipbuilding
efforts in Stockton, fueled by wartime industrial investment, flourished until the end of the war. Pollock’s operation in
Stockton followed American troops across the Pacific Ocean, undertaking projects in Hawaii, the Philippine Islands, and Guam.
After the war, Pollock and his family returned to Sacramento in 1946, where Pollock restarted his Pollock Construction Company.
Before and after World War II, Pollock’s firm built some of the most important and recognizable features of California’s physical
and cultural landscape. These projects include the Shasta Dam, the All American Canal and Boulder Dam, the dry docks at
the Alameda Naval Air Base, the Ruck A Chucky Dam on the American River, the Docks for the naval fleet at San Pedro, the Cruiser
dry dock at Mare Island, the naval operations base at Long Beach and Point Hueneme, and the famous Tower Bridge in Sacramento.
Aside from his professional endeavors, George Pollock and family owned a large ranch south of the City of Sacramento. Pollock
took an active role in ranch activities, raising Hereford cattle for both selective breeding and exhibitions in California’s
State Fair. Additionally, Pollock emerged as an active leader in the Sacramento business and civic community. Pollock was
extremely active in the Boy Scouts of America, donating a tract of land on the American River that is now Camp Pollock Boy
Scout Camp. Pollock also served on the Sacramento Valley Council, the California Chamber of Commerce, the California Centennials
Commission, the Masons in Sacramento, the California State Life Insurance Company, and the World Trade Center Authority.
On January 15, 1950, Pollock passed away suddenly at his home at the age of just 55. Pollock was survived by his wife Irma,
and their three sons: George Jr., Alan, and John.
Scope and Content of Collection
Arranged into four series, the items in the collection span the years 1905 to 1975, with the bulk of the items dating from
1940-1975. The four series are 1. Business, 2. Personal, 3. Photographs, and 4. Oversized Material. The collection includes
documents, photographs, scrapbooks, maps, artifacts and ephemera that reflect the personal and business life of George G.
Pollock Sr. (1885-1950). Eldest son George G. Pollock Jr. or “Gordon” Pollock created many of the later materials in the collection.
The first series, Business, consists of 30 folders and includes two subseries: Construction and Family Ranch. Arranged chronologically
within each subseries, the items comprise minutes, contracts, correspondence, financial documents, and newspaper clippings
between 1939 and 1974. This subseries primarily documents the construction projects of George G. Pollock Sr.; a large portion
of the material details his World War II projects.
The second subseries, Family Ranch, spans 1949 to 1974 and includes property assessment reports, appraisal reports, property
transfer agreements, correspondence, and cattle periodicals. Documents in this subseries chronicle the lengthy process of
selling the Pollock Ranch.
The second series contains personal records of both George G. Pollock Sr. and Gordon Pollock, Jr. and includes documents from
1905-1975 as well as some undated material. Arranged chronologically, the series consists of 15 folders containing awards
and other materials. It includes yearbooks, awards and certificates, boat building books, and Bible study material. In addition,
this series includes a multi-page typewritten chronology of the Pollock family, diagramed in the form of a family tree.
The third series consists of one cubic foot of approximately 100 prints and 200 negative photographs. While the negatives
predominantly document shipbuilding projects during World War II, the prints largely capture social engagements, professional
society events, and California-based construction projects between 1947 and 1962. Photographs are arranged by topic.
The fourth series contains 26.5 linear feet and 2 cubic feet of oversized material, arranged into four subseries and covers
the period from 1929 to 1973, with some undated material. The first subseries, Scrapbooks, contains four scrapbooks that document
Pollock’s World War II shipbuilding and Gordon Pollock Jr.’s high school and professional years. The second subseries, Newspapers,
contains whole newspapers and clippings between 1937 and 1958. The third subseries, Memorabilia, consists of various certificates
and awards and includes a bound copy of the Pollock News, printed during the war years and distributed to employees of Pollock-Stockton
Shipbuilding Company. The fourth and final subseries, Maps, consists of 84 items, primarily maps of the Sacramento area between
1953 and 1973.
Series 1. Business
Subseries 1.1 Construction
Subseries 1.2 Family ranch
Series 2. Personal
Series 3. Photographs
Series 4. Oversized material
Subseries 4.1 Scrapbooks
Subseries 4.2 Newspapers
Subseries 4.3 Memorabilia
Subseries 4.4 Maps
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in
the library's online public access catalog.
“Boy Scout Fund Raised to $1,113,800.” Sacramento Bee. May 8, 1933, 5.
“Community Builder.” Sacramento Union. January 17, 1950.
“G.G. Pollock, Builder, Civic Leader, Dies.” Sacramento Bee. January 16, 1950.
“He Made Five Trips To East Last Year.” Sacramento Bee. November 2, 1940.
“Pollock PAM File.” Sacramento Room: Sacramento City Library, February-May (2009).
“Pollock’s Have Served Scouts for Years.” Sacramento Bee. December 17, 1938.
“Purchased Purebred Horses.” Sacramento Bee. November 26, 1932, 2.
“Remember When.” Sacramento Bee, December 6, 1981, F6.
Wenzel, Caroline. “Pollock George Gordon—Obituary.” California Historical Society Quarterly March (1950): 84-85.