Throughout most of the Spanish-Mexican period of the growth of California (1542-1848), settlement was limited to a narrow coastal strip along El Camino Real with only a few isolated frontier outposts of civilization. One of these outposts was the vast estate of John Augustus Sutter, a German-Swiss immigrant, who was granted 11-square leagues of land in the Sacramento Valley under the condition that he settle 12 other families on the land. One of these Mexican land sub-grants was the Ranch Del San Juan, an approximately 20,000-acre tract of rich farm land originally granted in 1844. This sub-grant included present-day Citrus Heights ...More
A schoolhouse was built in 1862, spurred on by W.A. Thomas' conviction that Citrus Heights housed enough children to justify a school district. Mr. Thomas donated five acres of land on the northwest corner of Sylvan corners, and deemed it Sylvan School. Once completed, it became the educational, civic, social, and religious center of the community. Community parties and church services were held in the small, one-room building, as well as daily classes ...More
Adolph Van Maren, successor to his father Peter Van Maren, played a leading role in community development for many years. He served on the San Juan School Board, and contributed to the development of the San Juan High School in 1915. The present site of the Citrus Heights Community Club House on Sylvan Road is on land donated by Van Maren, while the actual building is the old Sylvan School House moved after a new school facility was built in 1927 ...More
In 1970, ground was broken for the giant Sunrise Mall, spurring a great deal of new growth in the Sunrise Boulevard-Greenback Lane area. By 1975, 101 shops, anchored by four department stores, employed 2,500 people within Sunrise Mall. Then in 1976, across Sunrise Boulevard from the Mall, rose Birdcage Walk, a collection of shops and businesses laid out along a park-like walkway. The two shopping centers spurred the construction of hundreds of businesses in the surrounding area ...More
In 1994, after agreement with the County was reached, the effort gained momentum and took on the challenge to raise funds to pay for the mandated Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Once accomplished, the County Board of Supervisors approved the measure for the November 1996 ballot and a full campaign was initiated. Finally, after a 12-year battle with the County of Sacramento, the Citrus Heights residents voted on the issue. The voters approved the measure to incorporate the City on November 5, 1996, effective January 1, 1997. The measure won handily, with 62.5% of the votes.