HISTORY – Elk Grove TIMELINE and Important Dates

(Compiled by many, i.e. Florence Markofer, Tom Russell, Jim Entrican, Elizabeth Pinkerton, Dennis Buscher, Louis Silveira and Barbara Claire to name just a few)

2,000 BC

Native American camps along the Cosumnes River



Spanish Explorers visit the area, determine it is too wet to establish missions. “Laguna, Laguna, Laguna!”


October 6 – Lt. Alferez Gabril Moraga discover the Cosumnes River and named it San Francisco.


John Sutter arrived in Monterey, became a Mexican citizen, and was given a huge land grant in Central California. Ultimately, constructed his Fort in Sacramento 1841.


May 28 – William Daylor discovered the Cosumnes River Valley

Jared Sheldon settles in area


October 15 – Land Grant: Rancho de los Omochumnes granted to Jared Sheldon (he had settled there in 1841)


June 10 –  Settler’s stole horses from the Spanish Army at Murphy’s Corral. It was the first action in California’s independence.

June 14 – Four days letter another group of settler’s took possession of the Spanish Army’s horses at Sonoma.


Mexico at war with the United states over Baja California


January 14, 1848 – Gold is found by Marshal at Coloma and brought to John Sutter at Sutter’s Fort.


The word got out and the Gold Rush began


January – James Hall built the Elk Grove House, a stage stop on on Upper Stockton Road (Now highway 99). Elected first Justice of the Peace in San Joaquin Township

California becomes the 31st state

October 31 – William Daylor died (partner of Jared Sheldon and discoverer of the Cosumnes River Valley)


July 12 – Squatters Riot on the Jared Sheldon Ranch on the Cosumnes River which resulted in Jared Sheldon’s death.


Foulks House built for Ephemera Foulks, which is now restored at Heritage Park.


November 22 – First post office in San Joaquin Township established as Buckner. The James Buckner Post Office (Buckner was postmaster) was located in the Buckner Hotel at the crossroads (Present day highway 99 and Elk Grove Boulevard)


James Hall listed as Postmaster – September 1, 1854 (Butte Recorder, 12-30-1854), but closed in December 1854


August 17, 1855 – Harvest Home Ball at Elk Grove House (Sacramento Daily Union)

James Hall sold Elk Grove House to Andrew McHesser and Jared Irwin for $2,000.


June 19, 1957 – The Candidates Ball was given at Elk Grove House (Marysville Daily Herald, Vol VII No. 266)

August 17 – Buckner PO was renamed to the Elk Grove PO when Andrew McHesser was named Postmaster and officially changed the name.


Elk Grove House Burned to the Ground (Sacramento Daily Union 4/29/1858)

Friends of McHesser, proprietor of the Elk Grove House, contemplate giving a ball for the benefit of himself and family (Sacramento Daily Union 4/29/1858)

National Anniversary Ball by McHesser & Irwin at Elk Grove House (Sacramento Daily Union June 23, 1858)


Elk Grove House and Ranch purchased by Francis Graham Family

June 1, 1859 – Republican County Convention at Elk Grove House (Sacramento Bee)


August 6 – F.&A.M. Elk Grove Lodge #173 began (Organized in the home of Obadiah Shank Freeman)


March 6 – Alexander Hamilton Willard, last surviving member of the Lewis & Clark Expedition (Gunsmith) dies and is buried in the Franklin Cemetery.


First Central Line Railroad though Elk Grove (Two second lines came in 1910)


October – Elk Grove Grange organized


The Toronto Hotel was built. –  It was located on the southwest corner of the railroad tracks and Main Street.


Bob’s Bar was built by the Building Association


Bob’s Place (Bar)  built by the Building Association


February 12 – Presbyterian Church built on Main Street was the first church built in Elk Grove  (Present site of Methodist Church)


August 4 – Cornerstone laid of the first Methodist Church on Main Street next to the old Parsonage.


May 2 – IOOF Elk Grove Lodge #274 instituted


August 18 – Cornerstone laid of the Masonic Building.


February – EG Newspaper #1 – “Spy” Elk Grove’s first newspaper published by Charles Turrell and James Graham with an electric pen.

Note: The electric pen (Thomas Edison) was a pen with an electric wheel at the top, which would make the stylus go in an up and down motion. The writer would write and the pen would punch tiny holes in the paper. The paper could be used on a printing press and allowed ink to flow though the holes, printing multiple copies.


October 11 – N.S.G.W. Elk Grove Parlor #41 instituted


Derr Lumber established – Oldest recorded family business in County


Masonic Hall built


I.O.O.F. Elk Grove Lodge #274 Hall built


October 21 – Order of the Eastern Star Elk Grove Chapter #109 instituted


July – (1st) Fire destroyed most of Elk Grove – the railroad depot, Andrews building, the Toronto Hotel and the I.O.O.F. building


January – Elk Grove Water Works Incorporated (Later purchased by Ira Jones in 1906)


Elk Grove High School constructed. Completed in December 1893 and dedicated January 29, 1984. Classes held in the library room of the W.C.T.U. building adjoining the high school grounds in November until completion of the school. First Union high school built in California. First Principal was Robert T. McKisick.


January 29 – Dedication of Elk Grove High School


J. M. Derr Lumber Company Established.  J.M. came to California in 1888, settled in Pilot Hill, then moved to Franklin to live with his uncle, Henry Derr who came to California in 1861.

June 10 – EG Newspaper #2 – “Weekly Record” edited by G.R. Gross (Elk Grove’s second newspaper)

Elk Grove Water Works established by the Jones Family.



Elk Grove Citizen newspaper established

Elk Grove House and Ranch purchased by Zaccheus Markofer


April 29 – Elk Grove Park organized – First privately owned and known as Graham’s Grove. Jane McConnell sold 2000 shares to buy 33 acres to save the oak trees. An Elk Grove Park Association was formed. In 1935 it was set up as a district under a law passed at a special session of the legislature to operate on tax money. It was taken over by the Sacramento County Recreation and Parks system in 1960.


Grangers Annual Picnic started in Elk Grove Park


First Park District in the State of California -” Elk Grove Park”


Water Works purchased by the Jones family


September – Harriett G. Eddy, first women principal of a public school in California.


October 19 – First Free Public Library in California. First to be located in a high school. Later the library was moved into the library room of the W.C.T.U. building adjoining the high school grounds. (Present site of the Grange Hall)


January 16 – EG Newspaper #3 (present) – “Elk Grove-Herald” newspaper published by Paul & Wyn LeBoyd (EG third newspaper)


Two second railroad lines came through the Elk Grove area at the same time; To the West was the Western Pacific line that came though Franklin, Galt, etc. and is still used today. To the East was the Traction Line that traveled through Sheldon, Wilton, Dillard, Alta Mesa, etc. It had an electrified third rail and is no longer used.


October 24 – First bank in Elk Grove. Located on the south side of east Main street, just over the railroad tracks. Locally owned and organized by directors: George Taverner (President), Tom Moroney (Vice-president), Charles Cooper (Cashier), Dr. Huge Beatie, G.M. Colton, Zaccheus Markofer, Hugh Bradford, Andrew Johnson, L.J. Augustine.  Sold to Bank of Italy, later Bank of America in October 17, 1927.


November – Elk Grove Winery (DaRoza Winery) burned (New winery opened in 1913)


Main Street (Elk Grove Boulevard) is paved.


N.D.G.W. – Liberty Parlor # 213 instituted


The Second Elk Grove High School was built. When the third EGHS was built in 1963 this campus became Joseph Kerr Middle School, as it is today.


First state wide oratorical contest


First Community Dance Pavilion built largely by volunteers


Bob Batey Chevrolet established


Second Elk Grove fire – Toronto Hotel burned down and never rebuilt

Batey Chevrolet established


First Community Sanitation District in State of California


Boy Scout and volunteers built the Boy Scout Lodge, which is now the Elk Grove Youth Center


First Elk Grove Pavilion built mostly by volunteers


July 30 – Elk Grove Post Office was moved to 9020 Grove Street next to the old Weimeyer house. The building was converted to a residence and is still in use although remodeled and is now a two-story building.


John Melvin Brown purchased Elk Grove House & 110 acres (Elk Grove Citizen 1/27/2011)


Cow/Cattle Palace Cattle Yard was opened at the end of Webb Street.

December 7, 1949-1954

The Cow Palace Theatre opened by the Amundson family functioned in the auction house of the Cow Palace Cattle Yard on Friday’s, Saturday’s and Sunday’s.


Anabel Gage became interested in the history of Elk Grove, helping to arrange the first meeting of the Elk Grove Historical Society in the mid 1950’s.  The meeting was held in the home of Helen Mahon Reynolds and was attended by Edna Batey, a native of Elk Grove and Norine Wackman, who had married Howard Wackman, a native of Elk Grove, helped to fashion the plans for Preserving the History of Elk Grove.


February 4 – Main Street renamed to Elk Grove Boulevard

February 4, 1955-1959

 The Amundson family built and operated the new Boulevard Theater on Elk Grove Boulevard.


Elk Grove House was torn down to make way for Highway 99


The Boulevard Theater on Elk Grove Boulevard continued service but under new owners Jerry & Esther Brown and Ben & Wilma DeWald.


California’s first Handicapped Children’s School was built called Jesse Baker School.


June 29 – A four-way stop sign has been put at the intersection of Elk Grove Boulevard and Elk Grove-Florin Roads. Elk Grove Boulevard was previously a through street, but motorists coming across the boulevard or turning on to it have had difficulty because of heavy traffic.


March 24 – Elk Grove Convalescent Hospital is built on Batey Avenue.


June 2 – Jesse Baker School dedication – First of its kind in the state.


The Boulevard Theatre was sold to and used by the Elk Grove Assembly of God who converted it to a church.

January – May 1977

The church partially caught fire in January and parishioners held services at Joseph Kerr Junior High School. It wasn’t used and was in escrow when it completely burnt a second time in May.


The theatre was bought by a Sacramento Business firm who ultimately developed the location.


The theatre/church has had several businesses at the location over several years, recently, Enterprise Car Rental, a UPS mailing store, and a dentist.


May 19  – Rhoads School moved from Sloughhouse Road.

In 1976, the Bicentennial Year, the Rhoads School was moved from its home on Sloughhouse Road to Elk Grove Park.  The school was given by the Murphy family (Beth & Stanley Engs) to Sacramento County Parks Department.  Members of the community contributed hundreds of hours restoring the deteriorating building and returning it to its appearance around the end of the 19th Century.  Anabel Gage, Carl Amundson and Henry Kloss were community members who headed up the Bicentennial committee.


December – Elk Grove Historical Society was officially founded – Carl Amundson 1stPresident. Meetings were held in the I.O.O.F. building in Old Town Elk Grove.


July 4th – The Rhoads School Bicentennial project completed and dedicated.


Dec 8 – Proposal for Reconstruction of the Hotel & Stage Stop from historical society to EG Park & Recreation District was submitted.


Nov 5 – Historical Society incorporated as a 501 (c) (3)


Jan-Feb – First newsletter issued called the “Register.”


July 31 – Ground breaking for Hall House & Stage Stop


Elk Grove Senior Center built largely by volunteers.

Oct 20 – Sublease  agreement and resolution between the County of Sacramento, the Community Service District (CSD), and the Elk Grove Historical Society to lease 1.019 acres of land to build a museum on.


The San Joaquin Justice Court and Jail was moved, restored, and completed at the Elk Grove House and Stage Stop in Heritage Park.


Masonic Lodge in Old Town burned and rebuilt


Letter to County Parks & Recreation on cost of Hotel – $583,300.


Restrooms built at Heritage Park

Disabled ramp dedicated – June 1995



July 1 – Elk Grove becomes incorporated


Parking lot built by Teichart Construction – Merwin Rose engineer and Carl Amundson Project Manager


Aug – Hotel walkways completed.

October 26, 2002 – Pre-opening event at Elk Grove House


April 12 – Hotel & Stage Stop Museum Open to the Public.

June – Yard graded and irrigation installed – Rust & Son Tractor Service

November – Kiosk built by Eagle Scout Steve Meeker


August – Rebuilt milkhouse by Eagle Scout Jeffery Gardener (The wood on the milk house had disintegrated in the 1970’s and 80’s.

September 20 – Grace Brown Memorial Bench dedicated – Browns were the last owners of the hotel. – Of the 360 actress that consisted of the Brown Estate, part of it was sold in 1962 to the school district to build the new Elk Grove High School (Opened in September 1964). Another part of the estate was a sold for the housing development you see in back of the hotel and along the north side of the Elk grove Park. Since the park was already there, the Brown project adjoined the park boundary.

September 20 – Sheldon Waterwheel cover built by Eagle Scout Kevin Glen. The water wheel was moved to the hotel about 1991 or 1992 by Carl Amundson. It sat in the open for over twenty years.


Foulks House moved to hotel site for restoration

Reese School moved to the hotel site


New fences installed in front (west) and side (south).


December 5 – Foulks house restoration completed and dedicated with a bronze plaque from the N.S.G.W.

Doctors who served Elk Grove:

Dr. C.S. Bradford                                           ????-1884

Dr. James McKee                                          1884-1899

Dr. A.E. Bugg                                                 1899-1907

Dr. Fred Wildanger                                       1907-1925

Dr. Hugh Beatie                                            1897-1936

Dr. Frank Lee                                                1925-1925

Dr. Paul Frame                                              1927- 1953

Dr. Donald Webb                                           1945-1965

Dr. Gravens                                                    1953 – ????

Dr. Donald Bishop                                       1962-????

Dr. Warren Christianson                           ????-????

Dr. Edward Jenkins                                   1962-1975

Dr. John Hildebrand                                1974-????


In August, the Wilton Rancheria Miwok dedicates and opens the Sky River Casino in Elk Grove near Highway 99 and Kammerer Road