How do we save our history? It is a question that most people do not think about, but we have many people to thank for all they do to save our Elk Grove history. Read on to find out about some who have done and continue to do remarkable work in saving our Elk Grove history. Remember that everyone has history to save – about their families, their memories of growing up, and places they have lived. So, start your collection now!

At the top of the list are the Elk Grove Citizen, under Roy Herburger from 1959 and now under David Herburger. History has always been a major focus of our great local newspaper.

Next is the Elk Grove Historical Society, 1976, and the members continue to save our history. More recently, we have Ardent magazine that publishes history stories in each issue.

Here are some people to thank:

Louis Silveira – With his work for the Elk Grove Historical Society and his Elk Grove High School Update, Louis saves history for all of us, and keeps us interested in stories about our past. He tells us that the society recently received many donations to the museum collection, and he encourages everyone to consider donating records, photographs, and family stories instead of throwing them away. As he tells us, “We got more boxes from Richard Gage (the son of Anabel Gage), and there are tons of photos from Anabel. She took lots of photos, and many of them are of our schools. There are negatives and too, and we will see if we can have them printed. I bought three bins and am sorting her items into them. One box has the life story and photos of the early Batey family.”

Note: We all knew Anabel as the wonderful cafeteria manager at Elk Grove Elementary School and at Joseph Kerr Middle School, but she was also a bus driver for Elk Grove Elementary, 1956-1959.

Anabel was really our first Elk Grove historian, and we will forever be grateful for all that she did to save our history.

Marielle Tsukamoto – Following in the footsteps of her parents, Al and Mary Tsukamoto, Marielle continues her focus on local history, especially that of our long-ago Japanese American community. She is active with many groups and recently participated in the Wakamatsu Colony celebration. The event was held in June to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the first Japanese settlement in North America. The Florin Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Sacramento Valley Chapter, along with hundreds of volunteers from the American River Conservancy and the community, spent three years planning and crafting the memorable event.  In 1868, 27 Japanese immigrants led by a Dutch merchant established a tea and silk colony in California near present-day Placerville.  The site is now a National Historic site and has been purchased by the American River Conservancy. Florin JACL members: Josh Kaizuka (president) Marielle Tsukamoto, Christine Umeda, Deanna Tsukamoto, and Sue Hida, along with Marielle, were among the faithful volunteers making the event successful. 

David Lema – He is our Mr. History Week, having started this great September event three years ago. Be sure that it is marked on your calendar … a whole week of focusing on our Elk Grove area history – the last week in September!

Carlos Garcia – As a Law Academy teacher at Florin High School, Carlos makes sure that students understand the importance of local history in today’s world. For the past five years, he has been a key player in a summer Civics program that includes a focus on our history. This is how he describes it: “The students participate in a 3-week summer internship program with priority given to students who are part of EGUSD’s career academies or pathways. We began the program in an effort to engage students with a meaningful education in civics by giving them the opportunity to explore rewarding careers in public service. Students get a first-hand look at the challenges and opportunities facing our community now and in the future. Guest speakers representing government and municipalities on the local, state and federal level provide students with lessons on leadership and share the stories and motivations that inspired them to serve.  Since the program’s start five years ago, 125 students have participated and this is our biggest year with 33 students.

“Internship Partners are EGUSD, city of Elk Grove, CSD Parks and Fire Department, EG Police Department, County of Sacramento, Assemblyman Jim Cooper’s Office. Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department , CA Northstate University, Paratransit, and Sacramento Fire.”

Participating students in 2019 were:

Brandon Wong, Liliana Herrera, Victoria Martinez, Elijah Martinez, Luis Hernandez, Cassandra Coronado, Florin High School;

Hanah Shih, Lily Saephan , Alec Perchal, Pleasant Grove High School;  

Chris Rios, Dioni Dobbins,  Khalid Bouelrous, Saskia Perks, Kashia Jensen, Cosumnes Oaks High School;

Lyimide Agbe-Davies, Brian Kasper,  Delaney Sjursen, Vietbao Tran, Wyatt Wiggins, Pedro Montes,  Laguna Creek High School;

Cassidy Nowlan, Sheldon High School;

Humreen Kaur, Yuanrong Wang, Dang Gia Hoa Nguyen, Monterey Trail High School;

Kayla Hsu  Kai Serran, Ananda Atwal,, Katrina Do , Brian Quach, Rediate Tadese,Paul Scharffer, Martin Gonzalez, Franklin High School; David Bolanos, Elk Grove High School.

Congratulations to All!


History Happened Here, Book 1 – River, Oaks, Gold

History Happened Here, Book 2 – Fields, Farms, Schools

We the People, a Story of Internment in America

All book proceeds go for student scholarships, and I thank the many purchasers who have made possible the 71 scholarships with each one $1,000  – make your check for books payable to Laguna Publishers and send to me at 9227 Lamprey Drive, Elk Grove, CA 95624.  Books are $20 apiece and California sales tax is included. Add $3 for shipping of one or two books; $5 for 3-6 books. Call me at (916) 685-0606 or email me at    And, you can always purchase books at meetings of the EGUSD Board of Education and the City of Elk Grove. Look for me in the entry area of both places.