History of Folsom
Folsom is named for Joseph Folsom who purchased Rancho Rio de los Americanos from the heirs of a San Francisco merchant William Alexander Leidesdorff, and laid out the town called Granite City, mostly occupied by gold miners seeking fortune in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Joseph died in 1855, and Granite City was later renamed to Folsom in his honor.
Folsom Prison was established in 1880, when the Livermore family made an agreement with the state to donate land for the prison in exchange for prison labor. The natural force of running water could provide enough power to transmit to Sacramento, and the Folsom Powerhouse, now a National Historic Landmark, was opened. At the time it was opened, it had the longest overhead run of electricity (22 miles) in the country. The powerhouse operated until 1952.
Folsom Damwas built in 1956, providing much-needed flood control and water rights for the Sacramento Valley. The creation of this dam also created one of the most popular lakes in Northern California, Folsom Lake. The dam is located on the southwest corner of the lake. The lake is an estimated 4.8 miles from Granite Bay to the most southern point of Folsom Lake.
Folsom is home to Folsom Lake College, Folsom Dam, Folsom Lake, Folsom High School, Vista del Lago High School and a historic district. Folsom is also home to the largest private employer in the Sacramento area, Intel.
The latest demographic information can be found at http://www.folsomchamber.com/index.asp?pgid=60.
There were 24,951 households, out of which 9,796 (39.3%) had children under the age of 18 living in them. The average household size was 2.61. There were 17,600 families (70.5% of all households); the average family size was 3.13.
In the state legislature Folsom is located in the 1st Senate District, represented by Republican Dave Cox, and in the 5th Assembly District, represented by Republican Roger Niello. Federally, Folsom is located in California’s 3rd congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of R 7 and is represented by Republican Dan Lungren.
According to the City’s 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:
# of Employees
|2||California State Prison, Sacramento||1,450|
|4||Folsom State Prison||975|
|5||Folsom Cordova Unified School District||875|
|7||Peterson’s Folsom Lake Enterprises||654|
|9||City of Folsom||480|
|10||Mercy Hospital of Folsom||450|
Folsom is home to 32 miles of bike trails including the Humbug-Willow Creek Trail. This particular trail system follows both Humbug and Willow Creeks, along with dredger tailings and riparian forests. Other trails include the Folsom Rail Trail (along Folsom Boulevard), The Folsom Lake Trail (to connect El Dorado Hills with Lake Natoma), and the Oak Parkway Trail (between Blue Ravine Road and East Natoma Street).
Folsom is home to several notable bridges – Lake Natoma Crossing, Rainbow Bridge, a historic truss bridge, and Folsom Lake Crossing. There is also pedestrian bridge over East Bidwell Street that opened on November 6, 2010 as part of a new segment on the Humbug-Willow Creek Trail called the Johnny Cash Trail.
Folsom Cordova Unified School District operates public schools. Folsom High School and Vista del Lago High School are located in Folsom. There are two middle schools in Folsom: Folsom Middle School and Sutter Middle School.
The city operates the Folsom Public Library, located in the Georgia Murray Building, and the Norman R. Siefkin Public Library.
- Home to the Folsom Lake Civic Ballet
- Home to Hawkins School of Performing Arts, the official school of the Folsom Lake Civic Ballet
- Home to Folsom Lake Symphony Orchestra
- Home of the Award-winning Folsom High School music program