When it comes to history, the community of Folsom has a whole lot of it. Most of us locally know the story of how the community and city came about, from Theodore Judah’s vision that rose the community out of the ground during the booming Gold Rush, to the arrival of the railroad, Johnny Cash’s famous visit and more. While the history books and local periodical have documented all of those significant moments in time, there is a there is a hoopla of unique “happenings” that took place throughout the decades as well. 


If you look back through the years, you may be amazed of what was considered “headline news” back in the day. Folsom Times has partnered 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 locsal history buffs have spent time digging into the past to bring you This Time in History,  an ongoing collection of some of the memorable moments that were the “talk of the town,” back in the day.   Here’s a look at the first few weeks of July through the years.


July 19 -July 30, compiled by Shelby Sorensen and Jovia Low

July 19, 1912: The Southern Pacific Company has made an order discontinuing the station at Shingle Springs, the reason being lack of business. 


July 19, 1919: Charles Lett, who escaped from a convict road camp near Redding three years ago, was recaptured in Oakland the first of the week and will have to spend several years in Folsom prison to complete serving the fourteen years to which he was sentenced. 

July 22, 1865: Union party members and people of Sacramento are encouraged to nominate and elect men at this convention and election.

July 22, 1865: A new railroad bridge at Alder creek and other improvements on the line are completed and in use.


July 22, 1865: The Sacramento Valley Railroad Company is reportedly doing an “immense” freighting business, nearly every day running short of freighting cars.

July 22, 1880: The prison was “lit up with gas” for the first time.


July 24, 1880: The Folsom prison is now in readiness for prisoners and is expected to receive fifty or more from San Quentin next week.

July 24, 1880: Chinatown is being rapidly rebuilt and its location is further removed from the business portion of town so its annual burning will not endanger property in the future.

July 24, 1880: The weather has been “excessively warm” the past few days, so a few sprinkles of rain several days prior created some surprise.

July 27, 1867: A Union meeting will be the following Tuesday in Folsom and will be addressed by a Union Candidate for Congress

July 30, 1892: A Chinese man employed in a mine was crushed by a large mass of Earth on him. When he was dug out, he was found unconscious and his lower body was paralyzed. Mining was a common job for Chinese settlers at this time, and the occupation could prove deadly.

Folsom History operates three museums in Folsom’s historic district – the Folsom History Museum, Pioneer Village, and the currently under construction Chinese Heritage Museum. Folsom History highlights Folsom’s unique place in California history through exhibits, digital engagement, educational programming, and hands-on learning experiences. Folsom History Museum is open Thursday through Monday 11am to 4pm and Pioneer Village is open Thursday through Sunday 10am to 3pm. Visit www.folsomhistory.org to learn more.