About Fair Oaks
A CITY THAT KNOWS HOW TO HAVE FUN
Fair Oaks in Sacramento County, California, United States. It is part of the Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 30,912 at the 2010 census, up from 28,008 at the 2000 census. The Fair Oaks zip code is 95628 and its area code is 916. Fair Oaks is bounded on the south side by the American River, and Rancho Cordova, on the north side by the city of Citrus Heights, on the west side by Carmichael, and the east side by Orangevale and Folsom. Fair Oaks has a mix of suburban and semi-rural neighborhoods.
Chickens running free in Fair Oaks village. There are over 200 chickens in the area.
The town center of Fair Oaks is called Old Fair Oaks Village, which is located approximately a half-mile away from the American River Parkway. The Veterans Memorial Amphitheatre is located in this part of town. Events that take place here include the Fair Oaks Theater Festival, the Fair Oaks Fiesta and Car Show, and the annual Fair Oaks Chicken Festival each September.
The town center also houses the Fair Oaks History Center, which contains the history of the founding and development of Fair Oaks including displays featuring pictures and artifacts dating from the early 1900s, as well as a small collection of early Maidu Indian artifacts.
The community began as part of the 1844 Rancho San Juan Mexican land grant. In 1895, Brevet Brigadier General Charles Henry Howard and James W. Wilson of the Howard-Wilson Publishing Company of Chicago acquired rights to present Fair Oaks community, then primarily covered by citrus farms, from California Senator Frederick K. Cox and businessman Crawford W. Clarke. The Howard-Wilson company surveyed and mapped the land and began to promote Fair Oaks as one of their “Sunset Colonies.” The Howard-Wilson company advertised Fair Oaks as an innovative and growing citrus colony after destructive freezes in Southern California and Florida and a national depression hitting in 1893. Many of the purchasers were professionals and other friends of the investors and the Fair Oaks community was initially composed primarily of businessmen and other professionals, including bankers and engineers.
In 1897, 300 permanent settlers lived in Fair Oaks, and purchased land in 5 to 20-acre tracts. Few farmers came to Fair Oaks, causing investment to diminish. This led to the Howard-Wilson Company withdrawing from the area. A club of businessmen in Chicago and Sacramento who had an investment (land or fruit) in the newborn colony and Orangevale formed the Chicago-Fair Oaks Club in 1899. They lobbied the government and other investors. They also helped in the construction of a bridge in Fair Oaks in 1901. Then a group of local businessmen, including Valentine S. McClatchy (the co-owner of the Sacramento Bee), incorporated the Fair Oaks Development Company in 1900. The boosters proclaimed Fair Oaks to be the “crown of the [Sacramento] valley,” in the “heart of California.”
Together these groups were able to succeed in constructing an efficient water supply. They convinced the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce, which McClatchy’s business partners from Orangevale created and chaired, to build a bridge across the American River at Fair Oaks in 1901. At the same time, the community leaders were also able to persuade the Southern Pacific Rail Road Company to build a railroad line to the bridge. Today, the bridge is known to locals as "The Red Bridge." There is now a trail on the Northeast side of the bridge that people climb to sit on the cliffs high above the river and watch the sunset
Fair Oaks grew rapidly with the completion of the Fair Oaks Bridge and the railroad line. The Fair Oaks Fruit Company incorporated in 1902 and built a warehouse in Fair Oaks to export not only citrus, but also almonds and olives. Also, in 1902, Dr. R. N. Bramhall became the first medical doctor to reside and set up office in Fair Oaks. The agricultural productivity attracted the development of other community services. Fair Oaks had become a typical small town by 1906 with a post office, hotel, blacksmith shop, lumber yard, pharmacy, bank, cemetery, newspaper, and a number of small dry-goods and grocery stores located along Main Street.
Two churches (Methodist and Presbyterian) were built and two schools (The Four Gables School and the Fair Oaks School—the current Community Clubhouse) appeared by 1910. The Fair Oaks Library Association formed in 1908 and constructed a permanent building in 1912. The Fair Oaks Civic Club purchased and developed the Plaza in 1918 for recreational and leisure activities. This plaza is still in use today.
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