Board Members of the Elk Grove Historical Society

The Elk Grove Historical Society is an all volunteer non-profit organization. The board consists of six elected positions voted on by the membership (300+) in November of each year and three appointed positions. All are society members who have stepped up to a bigger role. Here is a small synopsis of each board member’s history and interests.

PRESIDENT – Ken Miller

Ken was Historical Society President in 2017 and 2018. He and wife Rosemarie have returned to the Elk Grove area three years ago after 19 years in San Diego County. He retired as the Unit Chief for San Diego/Imperial County CDF after 32 years in State Service. He served as the Office of Emergency Services Fire and Rescue Coordinator for eight years and later worked for the County of San Diego for ten years as a Fire Service Coordinator. He served in many leadership positions through out his career that have supported his efforts as president in his first, very busy, year. His interests in history and love of community involvement inspires him to continue working for another term as president to support the mission and activities of the Elk Grove Historical Society.

FIRST VICE PRESIDENT – Rosemarie Miller

I am presently the interim 1st Vice-President and would like to continue in the same capacity next year. I maintain the same position for the Cosumnes River College patrons, a scholarship organization and I find speakers for both organizations. I have immersed myself in volunteerism. For the historical society I have co-chaired, coordinated, or helped with Old Fashion Christmas, Interior decorating, Santa’s helper, Spring Tea, room care, restroom attendant, and a fundraiser volunteer to name just a few. Before I arrived here six years ago with my husband Ken from San Diego, I was 1st President for CAL FIRE Axillary, chaired two statewide conventions, chaired Installation Dinners for the Employees Association, not to mention being a Girl Scout leader, Service Leader, and Council leader for seven years. I have been a cosmetologist for 50 years and owned my own Jafra cosmetics business. I am proud of my accomplishments and experience and would like to bring that to the historical society as 1st Vice-President.

SECOND VICE-PRESIDENT – Dennis Buscher

Dennis is a fourth generation resident of Franklin, California, a charter member of the Elk Grove Historical Society since 1977, and it’s unofficial Historian ever since. He has served on the board of Directors over the years in offices of President, Second Vice President, Treasurer, and currently completing first term again as Second Vice-President. He is retired from the Franchise Tax Board as a Tax Auditor after 24 years and as a Hearing Officer in the Legal Division for ten years. He is currently a board member of the Cosumnes-Elk Grove Cemetery District and a member of the Elk Grove Historic Preservation Committee. He is very active in historic preservation, having restored three homes in Elk Grove and one in Amador City, and he owns the Blue Victorian, and still has a retail Antique & Collectible business in Sacramento and Roseville. He looks forward to continuing to serve the society as Second Vice-President for another year. (Note: Dennis is modest in being a historian. He probably knows more about the local families, how they are related, and who and what businesses were where.)

SECRETARY, RECORDING – Pam Phelps

I have been an active member of the Elk Grove Historical Society for many years participating as a docent, decorating for both Halloween and Christmas, and supporting many of our fundraising events. My twenty-three years as a bi-lingual teacher afforded me not only the rewards of educating students, but allowed me the opportunity to team with other educators – both those I worked with as well as CSUS professors- to develop a Spanish-English immersion K-8 school in the Sacramento area.  I served on the Board of Language Academy representing staff for two 3-year terms.  During this tenure I held the offices of Treasurer and Secretary.  I also sat on the Finance Committee for the fifteen years I worked at the school.  I retired two years ago. I look forward to continuing my involvement with the Elk Grove Historical Society and participating in its governance.  Thank you for this opportunity.

SECRETARY, CORRESPONDING – Cindy Mahon

Cindy grew up in Hayward, but spent most of her adult life as ranch wife and mother with husband Tom Mahon whose pioneering family owns the Mahon Ranch here in Elk Grove on Grantline Road. Her duties ranged from coordinating calf branding lunches for the workers and vaccinating cattle to assisting with a myriad activities it takes to keep a large ranch running – all history lessens in themselves. Her career as a volunteer started when her children were in school, which over the years included responsibilities of being a Teacher’s Aid, fundraising, managing finances, recruiting other volunteers, and working with 4H and FFA projects through my son’s high school years. Now that the kids have grown, i finally have time to volunteer as a docent for the Elk Grove Historical society over the past few years and is now involved with the Lind Mae Mahon Lema Foundation whose goal of historical preservation is a perfect combo with a position on Elk Grove Historical Board of Directors. She is completing her first year as Corresponding Secretary and is looking forward to another term.

TREASURER – Jeanette Lawson

Along with her family, Jeannette has been an Elk Grove resident for many years, a long time member of the Elk Grove Historical Society, a retired elementary school teacher, and genealogy researcher. She has served as a society member volunteer for several years, many of those on the Board of Directors in the office of Treasurer. While she hopes each year someone else might step up to take the Treasurer position, she must be doing a good job because no one does.  She has been an active volunteer with the society and instigated several fundraiser events including the Halloween themed Haunted House, the Black Tie and Santa gala, and the annual Old Fashion Christmas. She is willing to serve another term as Treasurer of the society and hopes someone else will express an interest.  (Note: Susan Hernandez, the Secretary/Treasurer for the Rhoads School and Historical Society Volunteer Coordinator assists Jeannette when she leaves town.)

There are three important appointed positions voted on by the members of the board to round out the nine voting positions…

FACILITIES MANAGER – Dave Chalmers


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Dave is a long time rancher on Grantline Road

RHOADS SCHOOL DIRECTOR – Roberta Tanner

Roberta is a retired CPA and supports her husband Bryce’s medical practice. She has long enjoyed genealogy and is a docent for the Sloughhouse Cemetery, a member of the California Pioneer Heritage Foundation, a docent at the Rhoads School Living History Program and Director of the Rhoads School. The Rhoads School has its own Board of Directors, but because it is an arm of the Elk Grove Historical Society, she is the link between the organizations and reports to the board. Beside that she is raising her teenage children. She is a very busy woman and an asset to both organizations.

WEBMASTER – Barbara Claire

Barbara is retired from the University of California Davis, after serving as a Program Administrator, employed for 30 years.  She was previously the President of the Historical Society from 2011 to 2014 and has held the position of Webmaster in the past, as well as Newsletter Editor.  She is currently the Society Publisher and also Assistant Treasurer, plus being active with decorating responsibilities for the Ladies Parlor and other rooms at Christmas time.  She has been a member of the Historical Society since 2008 and started out as an Assistant Archivist, helping with three displays for the 50th Anniversary of the Elk Grove Unified School District. Her hobbies include, making beaded jewelry, cross stitch, diamond painting, making paper crafts – junk journals and making books. In addition to maintaining the Historical Society Website, she also manages the On-Line store where you can renew your membership, buy event tickets and books. She hopes to continue in this position and enjoys working for the Historical Society and promoting the history of the Elk Grove area.

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These are the voting members of the Elk Grove Historical Society Board of Directors, but like any organization, they are only as good as the people who surround then. Fortunately for us, there are many chairpersons of committee’s and fundraiser’s and many, many volunteers that allow us to exist and continue our mission of preserving and promoting history in our community.

We always need volunteers, sometimes,  just for the simplest of tasks or more as your interests increase. We employ you to give us a call and share in the fun of participation and realize how much you can affect your community.