Learn The History
Five Generations Of Native RockAsphalt©
Some people claim that the story of RockAsphalt© begins in 1885 when the Lathe Carbon Company first mined bitumen outside of Uvalde, Texas. Others argue is wasn’t until the early 1890’s when the city of San Antonio used bituminous Anacacho limestone to pave downtown Crockett Street. Still others say the story only really starts in 1928, when cold-mix-cold-laid asphalt began to be shipped to New York City, Philadelphia, and other northeastern states to compete against natural bitumen materials imported from Trinidad.
But we like to think the history of native rock asphalt actually begins much earlier — 70 million years ago in fact, if you ask most geologists.
It was then during the late Cretaceous period when diagenetic processes first began to transform carbon sediments into the rock we now call Anacacho limestone. Later when pressure from surrounding rock formations caused migrating hydrocarbons to permeate that porous limestone, the result was a unique bitumen impregnated rock, or what geologists today refer to as “native asphalt.”
Granted when most people think asphalt, it’s not native but manufactured asphalt that comes to mind. Why? Well as demand for paved roads increased sharply after World War II, more and more asphalt material had to be artificially manufactured from distilled crude oil and rock aggregate to keep up.
The deposit we mine in the southwest corner of Uvalde County may be one of the largest native asphalt formations in the world, but it’s certainly not large enough to pave all 42.1 million miles of roads on Earth.
But rest assured, that hasn’t stopped cities and states from relying on all-natural RockAsphalt©. Since 1895, hundreds of millions of tons of natural rock asphalt have been shipped to municipalities and industrial clients all across the United States. But the biggest and most loyal customer over the last hundred years?
The Texas Department Of Transportation.
And surely an agency responsible for 675,580 miles of road (nearly twice as much as any other state) knows a thing or two about quality asphalt.
There’s a reason state DOT’s and municipalities have trusted our material to pave highways, runways, and other critical infrastructure for over a century. If you’re looking for a durable, high-performance asphalt, we promise you won’t find anything better anywhere. And our family’s been mining and producing native asphalt for over five generations, so we take that promise seriously. Providing our clients with one-of-a-kind RockAsphalt© is a family tradition around here — and one we’re proud to uphold.