Sandercock Moving and Storage Company, the oldest family owned business in San Luis Obispo County, traces its history back to humble beginnings when William Sandercock came to SLO and opened his one man, two horse transportation company. The year was 1872.
And what a year it was for this recent graduate of San Francisco's famed Heald Business College, which had only opened it's curriculum in 1863, making William one of the earliest alumni.
Opportunity abounded in our beautiful little corner of the earth for enterprising young entrepreneurs.
Ulysses S. Grant was President and the Westward migration was continuing, even after the Gold Rush of 1848, the year of William's birth.
His parents followed the migration west to settle in Napa County near San Francisco's golden gate in the early 1850's. This would be where William matured and gained his education, an education paid for by hunting and marketing wild game.
In 1872 California was still booming, but in San Luis Obispo, a small cluster of Adobe huts, there were just 2,000 souls focused on the celebration the first 100 years of the already ancient historic Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa here. Founded by Father Junipero Serra on the banks of the creek that flows through this city, the Mission was the fifth in a network of 21 missions established to support colonization of the coast of California in the New World for the Spanish kings.
William saw opportunity and quickly expanded his business by hauling most anything and everything. Whether it be merchandise, equipment, lumber or chinese laborers, Sandercock Moving and Storage Company plied their services between the port at Avila Bay, the city train depot and the outlying development areas and camps.. Sandercock also hauled the supplies for the roadbed of the Southern Pacific Railroad line that would join the northern and southern coasts as one here at San Luis Obispo's Cuesta Grade.
Over the next 20 years William would grow his business to include more than 300 horses and mules, including the famous 20 mule teams of the era. William was especially proud of his 20 mule team comprised of matched pairs, giving an aesthetic quality to an otherwise crude and difficult enterprise.
Hard work was the life of teamsters in the early days and conditions were primitive as shown from these photos of the Sandercock crew taken in 1908. William's son, Norman, appears on the far left of the photo and the family dog is shown at center.
From Horses to Horsepower
By 1926, mule teams had given way to motor trucks and Norman, William's son, changed Sandercock Moving and Storage Company with the times, reluctantly adding the new vehicles to the business. Norman's own son, Warren, then 24, was also entering the business following graduation from the Heald Business College in San Francisco, retracing his grandfather's footsteps. Warren as with youth of any era, readily embraced emerging technology and was the real proponent of trucks. He would be the successor that built on this new technology from the industrial age.
Motor trucks were the future in Warren's eyes, and by 1948, Sandercock Moving and Storage Company was running 10 diesel powered rigs, 4 smaller trucks and had built a 7,000 foot warehouse.
This growth was fueled by important contracts of the times. One such, in the 1930's, was that of the late William Randolph Hearst, millionaire publisher and eccentric, whose famous Castle is located just 45 miles from here at San Simeon. Hearst called it La Cuesta Encantada, the Enchanted Hill. Construction on the castle began in 1919 and continued on the castle for over 27 years. It is still not, and never will be completed. Sandercock Moving and Storage was called upon for much of the drayage work throughout the construction.
Deliveries to the castle included construction materials, artworks and wild animals from Africa. An entire herd of wild buffalo were transported as were two crated giraffes arriving from the African Veldt. Transporting these exotic animals to the Hearst ranch was no mean feat. Sandercock had to place two linemen on top of the truck to remove wires and power lines all along the way. The 45 mile trip up California's Highway 1 took over a day and a half.
Sandercock Moving and Storage has continued to be called upon by the Hearst family over the years. Many art treasures were moved for Hearst's widow in 1962 and Sandercock was called upon again as recently as 1990 in the photo at left, illustrating the trust placed in the company when it comes to moving true treasures of immeasurable value.
In the New Millennium
William continued to drive the firm until his death in 1933, remaining successful in the business he started and that would pass down through four generations of family. His son Norman assumed control until his death in 1952 and William's grandson, Warren, continued the tradition until his own death in 1973.
Leadership has now passed to the fourth generation of the same family operating this venerable company now 127 years later. General Manager Ken Thoming is the son-in-law of Warren and Warren's daughter, Candace, works with Ken in the overall general management of the company.
It is because of this long tradition that we remain the most experienced movers in all the area.
Now in 2000, and running rapidly into the new millennium, Sandercock Moving and Storage Company continues to invest in the most modern equipment and methods to ensure your absolute satisfaction.
Moving your belongings quickly and safely every day of the year, Sandercock Moving and Storage prepares for the opportunites of this new century along with the rest of the northAmerican Van Lines family of quality agents.
If you are planning to move, Contact Us! We are always prepared to serve your every moving need.