Fair Oaks, California

Welcome to Fair Oaks, California, 95628

Alexis Wilke, Realtor®, lived in the South part of Orangevale for more than 10 years now. This is the Rollingwoods area which is in part in Fair Oaks. His children also attended school in Fair Oaks, on Kermit. There is a Montessori School at that location. It is a State Sponsored School through the California Montessori Project.

Fair Oaks is pretty large with 11,245 sqmi. It goes from Madison Ave to the North, and the American River to the South. The West limit is San Juan Avenue. To the East, it is the Rolling Canyon, so not a street, but a terrain limit.

Fair Oaks Downtown

The downtown of Fair Oaks dates from the early 1900s and is called the Old Fair Oaks Village. The village includes old buildings and a park. There is also a large flock of chicken freely wandering in the village area (motorist watch out!) The picture at the top shows those chicken (Photo by J. Smith)

The village hosts many events such as:

It is very close to the river, on foot you can walk to the pedestrian bridge taking Bridge Street. This was the location of the old bridge which has been replaced by the Sunrise bridge since then.

Since 1954, the Downtown area also hosts the Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce. They organize many monthly events and are organizing the several events mentioned above.

Nature in Fair Oaks

Fair Oaks Bluffs: Tree with roots exposed
This tree is at the top of the Fair Oaks Bluff. As we can see, the roots are exposed. The bluff is made of various materials that are pretty quickly eroding. Some of that material is like compressed dirt which can easily break under your weight.

Most of the Southern part is nicely wooded. A large part is next to the river in places where the edge is a tall bluff. The bluff is beautiful. You can see it when you drive North on the Sunrise or Hazel bridges. There are parks and trails at the top. Please remember that the dirt and rocks there can be quite slippery so you do not want to walk too close to the ledge where you have lots of gravels and loose dirt. Failing of these cliffs can be fatal. There are still accidents once in a while and you and I do not want you to be next!

The Orangevale bluff is partially fenced off by Negro Bar, which makes it somewhat safer, but the bluffs in Fair Oaks are not fenced.

The parks and the American River include many birds such as this woodpeckers, wild turkeys, and cormorant.

American River Cormorant
Cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae) in the Sacramento Region are black with blue eyes. These fish eater bird have webbed feet and a long bill with a hook at the tip.

We also have Wild Canadian Geese that fly over the area when migrating toward Canada in Spring and toward Mexico in Autumn. There is a group of Canadian geese that stay in San Francisco year round, I’m not aware of such around Sacramento.

The various parks host deer, beavers, raccoons, coyotes, skunks, and mountain lions. These lions, also called leopards, are at times (rarely) sighted toward the East around Mississippi Bar. In 2017 one was spotted as far in the city as Power Inn Road near Lemon Hill Avenue. It was caught on a security camera.

Fair Oaks Library

The Fair Oaks Public Library is found at the Madison & Fair Oaks Boulevard. It is right by the Fair Oaks Park. Very convenient if you want to get the kids some exercise just before going to the library.

The building is modern. The library is large. There is a kids corner with a few toys and a mini-theater.

Education

The public schools in Fair Oaks are part of the San Juan United School District.

The following lists the schools by grades and alphabetically. Please, make sure to contact them to confirm whether they still are opened and the exact grades they offer. Some preschools start sooner and some school do not follow the usual Elementary/Middle/High school grades.

Remember that enrollments, in some cases, has to happen nearly one year before the student attends the school.

Preschools (3 to 5 year olds)

Elementary Schools (1st to 6th Grades)

Middle Schools (6th and 8th Grades)

High Schools (9th to 12th Grades)

Colleges

Public Transportation in Fair Oaks

By Car / Motorcycle

Interstate highways 80 deserves Fair Oaks from the West by Madison Avenue and from the North by Sierra College, which becomes Hazel when you cross from Placer County to Sacramento County (by West Ranch Drive).

Interstate highway 50 deserves Fair Oaks from the South at the start of Hazel Avenue in Folsom and from Sunrise. Hazel Avenue has been worked on for some time now as to get two additional lanes (so 6 instead of 4). This should be mostly done by the end of Dec 2017, if not completed by then. Hazel would get jammed every night when everyone was coming back home that way. Sunrise is often quite crowded. It generally drives easy during the day and on weekends, though.

The main boulevards are Madison Avenue, Sunset Avenue (East-West), Hazel, Sunrise (North-South), and Fair Oaks Boulevard (first East-West from Sacramento and then North-South after Old Fair Oaks Village).

Also Winding Way goes all the way from the West side of Fair Oaks to Hazel, it narrows quite a bit and in some places can be difficult to drive between Sunrise and Hazel.

By Public Transportation

The Sacramento Regional Transit provides buses and trains.

Bus Line 21 (SUNRISE) runs from the Northern side of Sacramento County by Auburn Boulevard and Whyte Avenue to Mather Fields in Rancho Cordova. It goes through Fair Oaks on Sunrise Avenue. You can use this bus to go to the Mather Fields / Mills Light Rail Station in Rancho Cordova. The service is available 7 days a week, albeit not from all stations.

Bus Line 23 (EL CAMINO) runs North-South on San Juan, which is the West side of Fair Oaks. It goes all the way to Arden Fair, close to California Exposition (Cal Expo) / California State Fair. The service runs all week.

Bus Line 24 (MADISON / GREENBACK) runs between Orangevale and Citrus Heights Mall from Monday to Friday. It goes through Fair Oaks on Madison Boulevard going East (It comes back on Greenback, going West.)

Bus Line 25 (MARCONI) runs from Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights and goes all the way to Arcade, on West side of Business 80. It goes through Fair Oaks on Madison Avenue between Sunrise Boulevard and Dewey Drive. The service is available all week. On the weekend, there is only one bus per hour.

Bus Line 28 (FAIR OAKS / BUTTERFIELD) runs between Sunrise Mall in Citrus Heights and Butterfield in Rancho Cordova. It goes through Fair Oaks on Fair Oaks Boulevard. It stops at four Light Rail Stations: Cordova Town Center, Zinfandel, Mather Fields / Mills, and Butterfield. This bus runs Monday to Friday. There is no service on Saturday & Sunday.

Bus Line 109 (HAZEL EXPRESS) that goes from Orangevale directly to Sacramento Downtown in the morning, via Interstate Highway 50. It comes back in the afternoon on the reverse route. It stops at Hazel & Winding Way in Fair Oaks. This is only during the week (Monday to Friday) and only two buses  go by in the morning and two in the evening.

The Light Rail Gold Line train goes from Old Town Folsom all the way to the Amtrack train station in Sacramento. It is easily accessible by car, by bus, by bicycle going South either via Hazel Avenue or Sunrise Avenue. Fairs are partially paid by a Federal Government grant. For that reason it is quite reasonable between $1.35 and $2.75 in 2017. Often employers offer to pay for these fairs. Don’t hesitate to ask!

Police Force

The city of Fair Oaks is part of the Sacramento County and the Sacramento Police provides law enforcement for the entire area.

In case of Emergency call 911 or 916 874 5111

For Non-Emergency call 916 874 5115

If you problems hearing or talking call 916 874 7128 (TDD)

You can also use their email, info@sacsheriff.com, for general information inquiries.

Link: Additional Contact Information

Fair Oaks Statistics

Location: 38°38’32″N,-121°16’12″W

Area: 11.245 square miles (29.06 km2) of which 4..02% (0.425 square miles) is water

Elevation: 174 ft (53 m)

Population: 30,912 (Census 2010)

Density: 2,700/sqmi

Zip Code: 95628

History

Fair Oaks was part of the Rancho San Juan Mexican Land Grant of 1844.

By 1895, it was primarily covered by citrus farms. The greater majority owned by California Senator Frederick K. Cox and businessman Crawford W. Clarke. This is when it was surveyed and mapped by the Howard-Wilson company from Chicago.

The city was promoted as a Sunset Colony, a growing citrus colony, a place with potential as we would say today. This was circumstantial since there was a freeze in South California and Florida where the citrus industry was badly hit. Also there was a national depression in 1893.

Many of the purchasers of Fair Oaks land were businessmen, professionals, engineers, and bankers.

A club of businessmen in Chicago and Sacramento, who had an investment in land and fruits in Fair Oaks and Orangevale, created Chicago-Fair Oaks Club in 1899. A year later, a group of local businessmen incorporated the Fair Oaks Development Company. The investors proclaimed Fair Oaks to be the crown of the Sacramento valley in the heart of California.

Of Note: Valentine S. McClatchy was part of the Fair Oaks Development Company. Valentine was a co-owner of The Sacramento Bee.

Farming required a lot of water and together these businessmen put in place an efficient water supply for the area.

In 1901, these businessmen, using the influence of the Sacramento Chamber of Commerce, got a bridge built over the American River. That bridge was East of the modern Sunrise Bridge. It is still there, although now it is only a pedestrian and biker bridge.

Another group of businessmen also convinced the Southern Pacific Rail Road Company to build a track to the bridge. This greatly eased the transportation of the citrus and other farm products.

In 1901, Frances Murphy built a large building that was used as a community hall and it was a convenient stores for all the people living in and around Fair Oaks. The build now wears Frances name: the Murphy Building.

The bridge and rail road really kicked started the fast growth of Fair Oaks. The Fair Oaks Fruit Company, incorporated in 1902, built a warehouse to manage their export composed of citrus, almonds, and olives.

Doctor R. N. Bramhail was the first to setup a permanent medical office in Fair Oaks. This started in 1902 and was just one of the new community services that appeared as many farm workers needed those services.

Fair Oaks looked like a small community by 1906. It even included a Post Office. You could stay at a hotel. There was a blacksmith to fix your tools. To build new homes and for the winter, the lumberjack would sell you wood. You now could get your medication from the local pharmacy. A bank established itself so you could protect your money there. The population was even large enough for the area to have a newspaper. Today Fair Oaks still has a newspaper in the American River Messenger. Finally, a location for a cemetery was arranged and of course Main Street had many shop for various goods and foods.

In 1908, the first Fair Oaks Library was created. In 1910, we saw a couple of churches (Methodist and Presbyterian) and two schools being built. In 1912, the Fair Oaks Library was given its own building.

In 1918, the Fair Oaks Civic Club purchased the Plaza to transform it in a recreational area, which is still in use today. These were still very prosperous times for Fair Oaks.

In the 1932 winter, the whole valley was hit by a big freeze. This was the height of the great depression and the area was already affected, but with the big freeze on top, many citrus trees were lost. This killed that industry in the area.

A lot of people were out of a job for a few years, although Aerojet was created in 1942 and hired 150 people that same year to help building motors for USAAF planes. The group of people who started Aerojet started in 1936, but it was not until 1941 that they built the first solid fuel device that shorten the takeoff of a plane by half. This is how they go their first order from the USAAF. Aerojet bought a large piece of land in Rancho Cordova, which was readily accessible from Fair Oaks using the Fair Oaks Bridge of 1901.

The Sunrise bridge was built in 1954 to give Fair Oaks inhabitants direct access to Highway 50. This eased traffic of people who got a job downtown Sacramento.

The Aerojet bounty decreased dramatically in the 60s and 70s as it reduced its staff by 90%. However, the number of jobs in Sacramento somewhat offset the problem. Some people decided to relocate instead. This is how Fair Oaks Citrus Farms were slowly transformed in a bedroom community of Greater Sacramento.

 

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