When it comes to history, we have a great deal of here in Folsom. While the history books have documented the significant moments in time, there is a there is a hoopla of unique “happenings” that took place throughout the decades that you may not find in those ordinary text books but rather in local periodicals, journals and more.

If you look back through the years, you may be amazed of what was considered “headline news” back in the day. Folsom Times continues to partner with the staff of Folsom History to bring our community a backwards glance of yesteryear here in the community thanks to the work of Shelby Sorensen and Jovia Low. 


These two local history talents have spent time digging into the past to bring you History Headlines, an ongoing collection of some of the memorable moments that were the “talk of the town,” back in the day and found in news articles, journals and more.   Here’s a look back at some unique moments that took place in the month of May through the years.

May 1, 1991: Students at Theodore Judah Elementary School plant more than 40 trees across campus.


May 2, 1919: A Folsom mother is very worried over the disappearance of her 23 year old daughter, who was last seen at her place of employment in Sacramento.

May 4, 1867: Last Saturday evening a special train from Folsom, chartered for the occasion, containing about 120 Folsomites, visited the Theatre at Sacramento city and witnessed the “feats of Heller, the celebrated magician”.


May 4, 1867: Josiah Howell, chairman of the Union Central Committee of the 2nd Congressional District, called a meeting of the committee at Sacramento on May 15, 1867.


May 5, 1922: The California State Board of Forestry requests farmers to protect their land from fires during fire season by cutting haystrips and turning a few furrows of ground.

May 5,1955: The first electric power from the Nimbus plant was generated three days prior.


 May 4, 1867: A. A. Durfee of Folsom has been appointed has one of the Deputies for this district.

May 7, 1881: It is said that an endeavor has been made to have regular church service at the Prison grounds on the Sabbath.

May 7, 1881: The old railroad ties on the track between Folsom and the Prison are being taken up and replaced by new ones.

May 7, 1881: The dangerous washout below the railroad woodshed has lately been repaired, and now is more likely to withstand the floods in the future.

May 9, 1924: Governor Richardson commended for acting against foot and mouth disease regardless of political considerations.

May 12, 1950: The construction of five dikes to be placed at the northern end of the Folsom Dam has begun.

May 13, 1932: Teachers at the Grammar School will experience a 7% cut of their salaries.

May 14, 1881: A woman who got off a train from Sacramento caused suspicion when she left for Sacramento without the baby. A family in Clarksville was later revealed to have the infant, which they had found on their doorstep along with a supply of clothing and $80.

May 14, 1909: The Southern Pacific company will shortly commence work of rebuilding its track between Sacramento and Folsom. Among other improvement, the road will be reballasted and heavier rails will be made.

May 16, 1903: A fire was raging in Chinatown Monday afternoon. A long row of shacks was destroyed and three dogs were burned despite a large effort being made to save them by those fighting the fire.

May 18, 1983: A coalition of over 150 people gathered to oppose the construction of a bridge and the extension of Oak Avenue Pkwy.

May 19, 1916: A local airship has been in construction and its first public flight is planned to be made in Folsom June 3rd.

May 19, 1966: The Folsom Unified School District is being sued for $30,000 because of a school bus-auto accident on Figueroa St. and Riley St.  

May 20 1938: Folsom successfully completes its project of placing street signs throughout the city.

May 22, 1886: R. S. Bugg, a secretary to General McComb, and a gentleman widely and favorably known in the community, died last Sunday after a brief illness of pneumonia.

May 22, 1996:  An Orangevale woman was found murdered in her home.

May 25, 1977: Folsom Dam requires large-scale maintenance and repair because of drought.

May 26, 1944: An army captain, aged 26, was killed when on a mission in France during the war.

May 26, 1982:  A 5-month long sting operation meant to catch burglars finally concludes, resulting in the arrests of 50 people.

May 27, 1893: The board of prison directors met at the prison last Saturday and discussed the new parole bill. The members of the board adopted a set of rules that a paroled convict will have to comply with laws extended to him; only first term prisoners can be benefited by it.

May 27, 1893: It is expected that the electric lights at the prison will be in operation by the 4th or 5th of June. The arrival of some machinery has delayed things.

May 27, 1927: A fire at the Thorpe Ranch destroyed a string of buildings and two men present at the site disappeared after the fire.

May 30, 1979: The US Bureau of Reclamation announced speed limit changes on Folsom Dam Rd in response to the high accident rate.

May 31, 1879: The Folsom Telegraph complains about the “new road” to Roseville and calls it “one of the worst lay-outs with which [they’ve] been acquainted” and is “one of the most wretched inflictions upon the public which [they] know.”

May 31, 1879: A sale at the Branch Prison grounds of boarding house fixtures and other things came off the day prior.

To learn more about Folsom’s rich history, take some time to visit www.folsomhistory.org or visit the Folsom History Museum at 823 Sutter Street in Folsom. They can be reached for more information at 9160985-2707. 

Henry Pennock’s airplane/glider that he constructed and flew in the early 1900’s. He crashed the plane while landing and broke both legs. The plane was later parked in his backyard on Figueroa. Henry Pennock was the first car dealer in Folsom then later worked for the Natomas Co. Photo courtesy of Folsom History Archives.