Richard S. Ballantyne founded Continental Marble & Tile Company on 24 September 1924. State license #394 (licenses for all building trades are listed in consecutive order according to date of issue). Before coming to California he had been in charge of the quarrying and fabrication of marble at Mount Nebo Marble Company. Among the jobs fabricated was the Office Building of the LDS Church in Salt Lake City. It had been said that the marble columns, as designed for the lobby of that building could not be fabricated because of the marble being used. Well, some 80 years later, they are still in place. In about 1920 he moved to Los Angeles, and for a period of time he continued work for Mt. Nebo Marble, selling and installing marble in banks and other buildings. In 1924 he decided to start his own company and also included ceramic tile in his scope of work.
Most of his early installations were commercial and governmental jobs. Among his early jobs were the first buildings at UCLA and the swimming pool at the University of Redlands. In 1929 the great depression began and he lost all that he had gained, including his house. He paid all of his bills (even though he was unable to collect most of his accounts receivable) and inactivated his company for 2-3 years.
In the late 1930s he reopened his business and concentrated mainly on school buildings until World War II began. During the war, most of his work was in residential housing.
In 1946 his son Romney returned from service and worked part time at Continental Marble & Tile while going to school. In 1948 Richard had a massive heart attack which confined him to his bed except on rare occasions when he was driven to job sites by his daughter Margaret. In 1951 he passed away at the age of 67.
In 1951 Romney Ballantyne became president of Continental. Since that date the company has worked on all types of jobs. While a great deal of housing tracts are included in the work done, the emphasis has been in Commercial and Public Works projects, which includes many schools. Some of the more recent work completed includes many of the schools that were tiled by Continental when the schools first opened, Lever Brothers plant (recently demolished), LA Police Facilities Building, and the LDS Temple in West Los Angeles.
Over the years, the company has maintained its reputation for the high quality of work accomplished. Today, the work done by Continental stretches across Southern California.