Local Area Stories

In this Section we capture individuals or groups discussing businesses, ranches and farms, schools and churches, community activities, unusual events, memorable characters, or historic happenings from the Greater Elk Grove area.

 

  • Business and Industry
    Blacksmiths, auto dealers, insurance, water, electric and telephone companies, butcher shops and groceries, all were essential to the community. Agricultural businesses ranged from livestock, fruit, citrus and nut orchards, vineyards and wineries, hops, grains, strawberries and vegetables.

 

  • Important Eras
    Eras of the area including Native American people, mining, migration and settlement, expansion and resettlement, formal local government.

 

  • Important historical events
    Each decade has historical significance: Land grants, gold rush, railroad, parks, fire department, post offices, water, telephone, electricity.

 

  • Social Setting
    The fabric of the area begins at individual homes and ranches into small area communities which include social and fraternal clubs, churches, and benevolent groups with activities such as parades, dances, bonfires, and sport teams.

 

  • Schools and Cemeteries
    Two essential community attributes often found adjacent to each other were one-room schools and cemeteries. This was a practical approach for setting aside land and facilitating upkeep and maintenance of these pieces of vital infrastructure.

Crump, Carole

One of Elk Grove's oldest businesses, continuously operated by the same family, is the J.M. Derr LumberCompany. Carole Crump gives us some insight into the business and its founder J.M. Derr, Carole'sgrandfather.

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Business & Industry

Jones, Bud

“In January, 1977, Mrs. Elizabeth Pinkerton’s Joseph Kerr Middle School class interviewed Mr. BudJones, then the owner of the Elk Grove Water Works. 40 years later, the Linda Mae Mahon LemaFoundation hadthe honor of preserving the recording and the opportunity to create new audio castsfrom the original works. In this episode, Mr. Jones discusses the history and operation of the WaterWorks from its inception to the date of the interview.”

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Business & Industry

Beitzel, George

“In May 2016 George Beitzel shared several stories of the Cosumnes River Valley. In this episode hediscusses hop farming along the Cosumnes River.”

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Business & Industry

Mahon, Tom

In September, 2018 the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation captured the presentation of Tom Mahonto the Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce when Tom told the story and history of his family’s Ranch and ofgrowing hops alongthe Cosumnes River Valley from the 1880s to today.In his presentation Tom describes how in 1882 his Great Grandfather, John Mahon, began growing,harvesting and drying hops for market along the Cosumnes River. As he tells the story, Tom paints a veryvivid picture of what the Mahon Ranch was like from the earliest of times through the 20thCentury.

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Business & Industry

Triple J Brewing

In the summer of 2018, Joseph Parades and Jeremiah Sheckler spent time with the Linda Mae MahonLema Foundation relating the story of hops in brew-making and the over 100 year history of hops beinggrownalong the Cosumnes River Valley.

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Business & Industry

Jones, Bud

In1977prominentElkGrovecitizen,BudJones,discussedwithlocalstudentstheoriginsinElkGroveofwhatwasoncethelargestPistachioorchardinthecountry.Healsorelated,ingreatdetail,thehistoryofgrapegrowingandwineriesintheareawhichdatebacktothe1880’s.ThisrecordingispartoftheElizabethPinkertonCollectionand,throughtheFoundation,isbeingmadepublicforthefirsttime.

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Business & Industry

Rosa, Ellen

“In May 2016 George Beitzel shared several stories of the Cosumnes River Valley. In this episode hediscusses Reclamation District 800 and the discovery in the river of remnants of the Sheldon Grist Millwhich was built by Jared Sheldon in 1846-47.

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Business & Industry

Rosa, Ellen

Mrs. Ellen Rosa describes how members of her Rhoads family lead the rescue to the Donner Party. Mrs.Rosa is a descendant of the Rhoads and Sheldon families of the Cosumnes River Valley and has doneextensiveresearch and authored several articles and books on the subject of the first European settlersin the area.

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Historical Events

Pinkerton, Elizabeth

“In January, 1977, Mrs. Elizabeth Pinkerton’s Joseph Kerr Middle School class interviewed Mr. Bud Jones, then the owner of the Elk Grove Water Works. 40 years later, the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation had the honor of preserving the recording and the opportunity to create new audio casts from the original works. In this episode, Mr. Jones discusses the history and operation of the Water Works from its inception to the date of the interview.”

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Historical Events

Davidson, Mark

In 2018 the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation recorded a general meeting of the Elk Grove HistoricalSociety where local Early-California historian Mark Davidson was guest speaker.In his presentation, Mark shares the story of how title to many thousands of acres of land was grantedby the Spanish and later the Mexican governments to local residents. These land grants covered areaswe now know as Sacramento, Elk Grove, Folsom and beyond.

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Historical Events

Courtney, Phillip & Mahon, Tom

One day around the dining room table, Tom Mahon and his cousin Philip Courtney shared memoriesabout their grandfathers, PB Smith, and JW Mahon.

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Important Eras

Rosa, Ellen

Mrs.EllenRosadescribeshowherancestor,JaredD.Sheldon,alongwithWilliamC.Daylor,discoveredtheCosumnesRiverValleyandin1842obtainedtitletoover15,000acresbyMexicanLandGrant.ShegoesontotellofthefindinggoldinnearbyDryCreekandduringthegoldrush,ofthefamily’sstrategyofprotectingtheirlandholdingsbycarefullyselectingtowhomtheysoldland,and,therefore,whowouldbecometheirneighbors.

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Important Eras

Hussey, Richard

In 2018the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation recorded a presentation made by author RichardHussey to the Elk Grove Historical Society where he shared great details about the earliest presence ofHawaiians in California

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Important Eras

Mahon, Tom

In January 2020 the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation had a conversation with Tom Mahon, Linda’syounger brother, about the history of the many peoples and cultures who have lived on the MahonRanch from its establishmentin 1880. Tom calls this story the ‘Legends of the Cosumnes’.

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Important Eras

Beitzel, George

“In May 2016 George Beitzel shared several stories of the Cosumnes River Valley. In this episode hepresents some interesting stories of his Dad.”

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Important Eras

Sheldon Daylor Series Part 1

In2018 and2019, Mel Pierson spent time with the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundationsharing theearlyCalifornia storyof Jared Sheldon and William Daylor and their legacy on the history of Sacramento andElk Grove area. This is a threePartseries.In the four Episodes of Part 1Mel presentsthe early life of Jared Sheldon and his migration to Californiaand of his carpentry work in Los Angeles and Monterey, how Sheldon met and became lifelong friendswith William Daylor, and of the 19,000 acre Mexican Land Grant in the Cosumnes River Valley. The storythen takes us through discovering gold on the Cosumnes River, of theDonner Party, California’sstatehood and of the two men each marrying a Rhoads sister.

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Important Eras

Sheldon Daylor Series Part 2

In2018 and2019, Mel Pierson spent time with the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundationsharing theearlyCalifornia storyof Jared Sheldon and William Daylor and their legacy on the history of Sacramento andElk Grove area. This is a three Part series.Inthe two Episodes of Part 2 Mel tells about the discovery of gold in Coloma and how early settlers werecollecting gold around Elk Grove, well before Marshall’s discovery. This part also details the impact, bothgood and bad, that the discovery of gold hadon the lives all those living in California, including the earlydays of crossing the Cosumnes River, of the Cholera epidemic, and, of murder.

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Important Eras

Sheldon Daylor Series Part 3

In2018 and2019, Mel Pierson spent time with the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundationsharing theearlyCalifornia storyof Jared Sheldon and William Daylor and their legacy on the history of Sacramento andElk Grove area. This is a three Part series.Inthe final Episodes of Part 3 Mel takes us through the 1850s to 1870s and the remarkable account ofthree sisters, Elizabeth, Catherine and Sara Rhoads, all young widows. How they lived, worked and dealtwith owning and protecting some of the largest landholdings in California; from the era of the Gold Rushto the completion of the Intercontinental Railroad.

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Important Eras

J. Lambdin & D. Gale

In 2018, Jonathan Lambdin and Deborah Gale gave the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation an accountof the history and future of the Elk Grove Cosumnes Cemetery District and its six historic cemeteries,including an overview of the purpose and vision of the District. Along the way they share a bit of historyabout how windmill blades were used as grave markers and many other interesting and little knownfacts about the District

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Important Eras

Hein, Arlene

In the spring of 2018, Arlene Hein and Elizabeth Pinkerton met with the Linda Mae Mahon LemaFoundation to discuss early schools of the area and how the creation of the Elk Grove Unified SchoolDistrict in 1959 dramaticallyaffected the communities of the area.

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Schools & Cemeteries

Rhoads School Classmates

In early summer 2018, current members of the Elk Grove Book Club and sons and daughters of thefounding members of the Book Club chatted with Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation about the story ofthe Book Club.Established in 1937, the Book Club is one of the oldest, continuously operating bookclubs in the country. Current members were Maureen Gormley, Larkin Morse Penrose and Marsh GreenHolmes. The sons and daughters were Margaret Costello Ehlers, Mary Etta Costello Hamzawi, CarolynCostello Flood, Oscar Mix, David Sperry and George Beitzel.

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Schools & Cemeteries

Beitzel, George

“In May 2016 George Beitzel shared several stories of the Cosumnes River Valley. In this episode hediscusses schools and cemeteries of the area.”

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Schools & Cemeteries

Tanner, Roberta

On a crisp spring day in 2018, Roberta Tanner of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers gave the Linda MaeMahon Lema Foundation a walking tour of the pioneer Slough House Cemetery. Roberta was extremelyinformative about the history of the cemetery and of the many notable people who are at rest in theoldest pioneer cemetery in Northern California.

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Schools & Cemeteries

Gage, Chalmers & Richard

In May 0f 2016 the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation sat down with Richard Gage and his 98 year oldfather Chalmers Gage to learn more about the Gage Family and their Elk Grove roots. To our delight, notonly didwe hear about the Gage Family but we learned a great deal more about other families and whatlife was like in Elk Grove through the years. Joining us in the discussion was Jack Mahon, cousin ofChalmers and Richard.

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Social Setting

Croup, Lorraine

In May of 2019 Lorraine Croup entertained the audience of the monthly Elk Grove Historical Societygeneral meeting by sharing her unique insights and personal stories of the SacramentoRiver Delta.Lorraine’s captivating and graceful manner brought to life the history and character of the region. TheLinda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation had the distinct honor of capturing Lorraine’s presentation.

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Social Setting

Rosa, Ellen

Mrs.EllenRosadescribesherremembrancesofwhatlifewaslikeintheearlyyearsintheGreaterElkGrovearea.Mrs.RosaisadescendantoftheRhoadsandSheldonfamiliesoftheCosumnesRiverValleyandhasdoneextensiveresearchandauthoredseveralarticlesandbooksonthesubjectofthefirstEuropeansettlersinthearea

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Social Setting

Penrose, Larkin Morse & Jim

In February, 2018, the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation had the opportunity to record the story ofthe Elk Grove Book Club, as told by Larkin Morse Penrose and her husband Jim. Their story chroniclesthe history of the Club and the ten forward-looking womenwho founded the Club in 1937. The Club stilloperates today under its original by-laws and is one of the oldest book clubs in the United States

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Social Setting

EG Book Club Roundtable

In early summer 2018, current members of the Elk Grove Book Club and sons and daughters of thefounding members of the Book Club chatted with Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation about the story ofthe Book Club.Established in 1937, the Book Club is one of the oldest, continuously operating bookclubs in the country. Current members were Maureen Gormley, Larkin Morse Penrose and Marsh GreenHolmes. The sons and daughters were Margaret Costello Ehlers, Mary Etta Costello Hamzawi, CarolynCostello Flood, Oscar Mix, David Sperry and George Beitzel.

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Social Setting

LMML Why Record History by Several Contributors

Our mission of the Foundation is 'to research, document, recordand preserve, present and publish thepersonal stories and family histories of the greater area of Elk Grove’. But why is this undertakingimportant?Weasked several people around Elk Grove to give us their opinions on the question.Here are some of their responses.


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Social Setting

Keema, Ed

InJanuary,2017,theLMMLFoundationrecordedameetingofthegeneralmembershipoftheElkGroveHistoricalSocietywhichfeaturedspeakerEdKeema.HistopicwasthehistoryofthetownofSiwash,whichbecameBruceville,andthefamiliesofthearea.TheKeema’sareearlyresidentsoftheSiwashareaofElkGrove,havingemigratedfromPrussiathencrossedtheplainstotheWestCoastin1851.

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Social Setting

Courtney, Phillip & Mahon, Tom

One day around the dining room table, Tom Mahon and his cousin Philip Courtney shared aparticularly interesting story about Philip and his grandmother's kitchen.

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Social Setting

Beitzel, George

“In May 2016 George Beitzel shared several stories of the Cosumnes River Valley. In this episode hediscusses Reclamation District 800 and the discovery in the river of remnants of the Sheldon Grist Millwhich was built by Jared Sheldon in 1846-47.”


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Important Eras

LMML Presentation 2016: Linda's Story

In September of 2016, the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation performed its Inaugural AnnualFoundation Play Reading.The Annual Performance is one of the major objectives of theFoundation aspart of our overall mission to record and present oral histories of the Greater Elk Grove Area.Performed by alumnae and current students of the Sheldon High School TheaterWORKS program, thesubject of the 2016 Play Reading was the story of our namesake: Linda Mae Mahon Lema. ChroniclingLinda’s life in Elk Grove, the story was presented in a fast-paced, captivating and sometimes humorousmanner that left the audience with a deeper understanding of Linda and her passions for visual andperforming arts and the skill of storytelling.

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Historical Events

LMML Presentation 2017: The Jackson Family

In September of2017, the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation performed its2nd Annual FoundationPlay Reading. The Annual Performance is one of the major objectives of the Foundation as part of ouroverallmission to record and present oral histories of the Greater Elk Grove Area.Performed by alumnae and current students of the Sheldon High School TheaterWORKS program, thesubject of the2017Play Reading was the story of theJackson Family of the Florin and Elk Grove areas.The story traces the Jackson family roots through several generations from the son born at sea of a seacaptain and his wife, the daughter of the ship owner, to early America, to migrating to the Midwest,then venturing further west, byoxen wagon, to South Sacramento County. Here the family settles andprospers. They are credited with establishment of a church, two one-room schools, a cemetery andmany inventions which were critical to the growth of area agriculture.

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Historical Events

LMML Presentation 2018: The Elk Grove Book Club

In September of 2018, the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation performed its 3rdAnnual Foundation PlayReading which was presented during the annual Elk Grove Area History Week at the Elk Grove HistoricalSociety’s Plow-to-Plate Dinner.Performed by alumnae and current students of the Sheldon High School TheaterWORKS program, thesubject of the Play Reading was the story of the Elk Grove Book Club. Established in 1936 by ten ElkGrove women, the Book Club is one of the oldest book clubs in the country. Entering its 83rd year, theClub continues to follow the original charter of reviewing all manner of titles and subjects

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Historical Events

LMML Presentation 2019: Irene B. West Story

In September of 2019, the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation performed its 4th Annual FoundationPlay Reading which was presented during the annual Elk Grove Area History Week.Performed by current students of the Sheldon High School TheaterWORKS program, the subject of thePlay Reading was the story of Mrs. Irene B. West who wasthe first African-American teacher in ElkGrove. A graduate of Fisk University in Tennessee, she came to Sacramento when her husbandaccepted a job transfer. Mrs. West applied for a teaching position at the Elk Grove UnifiedSchool District in 1962 at a time when racial tensions were rising in the south and the civil rightsmovement was gaining energy nationwide.Herstoryis aninspiringjourneyof personalcourage, determination and an overriding passion to teach.

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Historical Events