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Lori Mode's Blog

By Mode and Durham Team | Agent in Elk Grove, CA

History of Elk Grove, CA


I have lived and worked in Elk Grove for over 35 years and just want to give all of you interested in the Elk Grove community a little hometown perspective of Elk Grove through the years.  In 1972, when my family moved to the Elk Grove area, there were no stop lights in town, no fast food restaurants, a population of less than 11,000, 1 high school - Elk Grove High School and 2 junior highs - Joseph  Kerr and James Rudder.  When ny family moved to this "farm" community on the "outskirts" of Sacramento during my Junior year of high school - I thought I had moved to Kansas or something.  Sorry to all of you who love Kansas.

Elk Grove was established in 1850 as a stop for the stage.  It became a crossroads and hub for local commerce and played a part in the early gold rush being just 15 miles south of the historic Sutter's Fort in Sacramento.

Elk Grove House was built in 1850, by the founder of Elk Grove, James Hall. Built on the historic Monterey Trail, Elk Grove House was reputed to be one of the finest stage stops between Sacramento and Stockton. The building stood for 107 years until it was torn down for a Highway 99 expansion project  Above is a photo of the Elk Grove House as it was rebuilt in 2002  and currently stands in Elk Grove Heritage Park.  Although Elk Grove has grown rapidly over the last decade, Elk Grove has always celebrated it's rich history.  The revitalization of Old Town Elk Grove was completed in November of 2005 and the Elk Grove Historic District comprises 48 buildings of historic significance.

Although Elk Grove is in close proximity to Sacramento, until the 1980's it remained independent of Sacramento's growth.   As Sacramento grew, communities started pusing out towards Elk Grove and new communities started popping up in Elk Grove in the early 1980's.  In July 2000, Elk Grove became a city within the County of Sacramento.  Although once thought of as a sleepy little town on the "outskirts" of the Capitol of California, Elk Grove was named as one of the fastest growing cities in 2004&2005.  The State of California estimated the city's population at 136,318 as of January 1, 2007.

When I graduated from Elk Grove High School in 1975 , it seemed to me that Elk Grove High School was "old" ..  In 2008, my youngest daughter, Rachel, will be graduating from Elk Grove High School, so you know the kids think it's old now, 33 years later.  However, it is a great feeling as a parent to still go to "Back To School Nights" and see old friends from our high school days.  The funny thing is that there are still a couple of teachers left from when my husband and I attended Elk Grove High School and there are many current teachers that were former students.

Today, there are 9 High Schools in the community of Elk Grove and Elk Grove School District is the 5th largest school district in California. and the largest in Northern California.  For the 2007-2008 school year, the district will serve more than 61,000 students.  Elk Grove Unified School District has been recognized in California as a top performing school district and has been praised for offering class size reduction in grades kindergarten through 6th grade.  For more information on the school district, visit Elk Grove Unified's website at http://www.egusd.k12.ca.us/district/district.htm.

For those of you not familiar with Elk Grove,  the area is divided into 3 zip code areas.  The original area of 95624 is east of Highway 99 and this is the area that my family lives in.  Starting in the early l990's , the community of Elk Grove started expanding to the west side of Highway 99, into what is now "Laguna" or the 95758 zip code area.  This area was formally farmland and now is comprised of several residential communities, including Laguna West and several of our commercial developments including several restaurants, movie theatres, major stores including Target, Borders, Old Navy, Home Depot and several others.  And then in the early 2000's, the City of Elk Grove approved the South Laguna area or 95757.  This area is between Highway 99 and Interstate 5 but south of Elk Grove Boulevard and includes the Elk Grove Auto Mall and the new Elk Grove Promenade Mall. 

Some of the fun annual events that my family has enjoyed attending over the years in Elk Grove are below.  Make sure to click on the links to learn more about each of these fun events.

May - Elk Grove Western Festival

June -  Old Town Open Air Faire

July - Old Town Open Air Faire

   Run 4 Independence

   Salute to Red, White & Blue

   Strauss Festival

August - Old Town Open Air Faire

September - Old Town Open Air Faire

    Spotlight Elk Grove

October - Harvest & Giant Pumpkin Festival

 Safety Faire

November - Holiday Kickoff

  Dickens Faire


For current information on market statistics,  our current listings, more information on living in Elk Grove, buying or selling a home in Elk Grove and virtual tours of communities within the City of Elk Grove go to http://www.allelkgrovehomes.com.

Thank you for hanging out with me for a few minutes and letting me tell you why I love the community of Elk Grove so much! 

Lori Mode

The Mode & DurhaM Team of Keller Williams Realty
(916) 230-0371


By Jim,  Fri Jan 2 2009, 17:59
great information, thank you!
By Mode and Durham Team,  Fri Jan 2 2009, 18:03
You are welcome...If I can help you wih any other information on Elk Grove just let me know.
By Laurel,  Thu Jan 15 2009, 11:57
Where can I get a copy of this picture?
california Multi-family's Trulia profile" class="blog_comment_user_photo">
By california Multi-family,  Fri Sep 3 2010, 13:07
Hi Lori,
I see you're with Keller Williams in Elk Grove. How is the Investment Property market up there? We primarily deal with duplexes to fourplexes in the Los Angeles area, but are always looking for more opportunities. Thanks!
By Menpal,  Tue Oct 19 2010, 19:31
To get the best rates out there, consumers really need to pay attention to financial news. Consulting with a mortgage lender or broker can also be very helpful. In most cases, the mortgage broker will be very knowledgeable and up to date on the economy.
Mortgage Broker
By Menpal,  Tue Oct 19 2010, 19:32
The same thing happens in reverse when it looks like the economy is cooling. Investors start clamoring for bonds, because they figure the Fed will have to cut interest rates in the future in order to get the economy going moving along again. If the investors wait, they’ll end up with lower yielding bonds. Since investor demands are so strong, lenders who control loan supply can offer lower yields. The result is a lower rate for consumers.
Mortgage Broker
By Bob,  Wed Dec 22 2010, 08:12
Interesting post. One thing: it's James Rutter, not Rudder. Thanks.
By Dodgeman,  Sat Apr 9 2011, 13:04
Anyone know anything about a old race car track with banked turns it's a large open field I don't know where just that it is near some housing in the EG area might be from the fifties on the west side a guy told me he walks his dog near there
By Bobby Lynn Frost Fisher,  Mon Aug 8 2011, 09:20
There was a dump and rifle range that had banks built up , north of Elk Grove Blvd. on Waterman road. When we were kids in the 40's, we found old army gear there. I don't know if houses have been built over that area but, it was open fields then.
By Randy Lee,  Tue Sep 6 2011, 13:05
In the 3rd paragraph, you state "Above is a photo of the Elk Grove House as it was rebuilt in 2002 and currently stands in Elk Grove Heritage Park." That statement does not correspond with the posted photo (which appears to be an early 20th century photo of Main Street )... Do you have any knowledge of when the photo was taken?
--Randy Lee
By Antonio Roman,  Sat Jan 14 2012, 18:53
Hi, nice site!
My grandfather Miguel Cortes, worked for C.W. Durbin, in 1912 (Railroad).
I still have the letters that my grandfather would receive: Upland to Elk Grove, Mexico to Elk Grove.
Thanks for sharing!
By Miguelon56,  Thu Oct 4 2012, 21:21
I just checked my "The Elk" 1972 Yearbook and saw a Rick Mode in the list of student pictures. Are you related to him? I was a junior at that time. I am a native of the Elk Grove area. There aren't many of us left around here I don't think... Very nice reflection on Elk Grove's Past..

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