About 85 people gathered at an outdoor ceremony on Dec. 5 to celebrate the dedication and opening of the 1853 Foulks House as a museum that honors one of Elk Grove’s earliest families.
This small, two-story structure, which formerly stood on Elk Grove Boulevard near Bruceville Road, was home to six generations of Foulks family members.
Moved to the Elk Grove Historical Society’s Heritage Park in Elk Grove Regional Park in 2005, the building underwent a more than $100,000 restoration, which was completed this year.
Built like a barn with no studs or sheer walls to keep it square, this historic house is one of the last remaining early California, single-frame homes.
Also preserved from the old Foulks Ranch is the 1886 Italianate Victorian house, which was relocated to Franklin Boulevard in the town of Franklin in 2005.
The event, which was hosted by the historical society and Native Sons of the Golden West (NSGW) Parlor #41, included speeches, and a dedication of a plaque by the Native Sons.
Witnessing the ceremony was a group of descendants of Euphemia “Effie” Foulks, a widow with five children, who settled in Elk Grove in 1853.
Michael Guy Linn, whose great-grandfather was Guy Foulks, a former president of NSGW Parlor #41, introduced those descendants to the attendees of the event.
Linn spoke about his family’s longtime connection to Elk Grove.
“Today, we are at a beautiful park once owned by my family, enjoying the trees that were saved during the drought of the 1890s by my great-grandfather,” he said. “Standing before the house that was built for my three times great-grandmother is such an honor.
“On behalf of our family, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
Richard Gage, a member of another longtime Elk Grove family, noted that his appreciation for this building’s preservation also includes a family connection.
“The Gages are related to the Foulks through the Chalmers family,” he said. “Guy and Bess (Foulks) used to visit my grandmother, Mattie Chalmers, at the ranch on Sunday afternoons.”
Another highlight of the event was a speech about the Foulks family’s history by Native Sons and Elk Grove Historical Society member Dennis Buscher.
Buscher, who is also a local historian, told attendees that he believes that the first Foulks family members to arrive in the United States came to this country from Wales in the 1700s.
The first record of the Foulks family in the USA was (Alfred Foulks’) grandfather, George William Foulks, who was a carpenter in Philadelphia in 1764. It is believed that (Alfred’s) grandfather fought in the Revolutionary War.”
NSGW Grand Parlor President Joe Castillo, who was another one of the event’s speakers, said that the plaque dedication was significant for both Guy Foulks’ involvement in the Native Sons and to recognize the importance of this early Elk Grove home.
“Guy Foulks was heavily involved with the Native Sons,” he said. “Going back to 1915, he was the one who originated (Elk Grove’s NSGW Oratorical Contest) and I believe until he passed away in the 1970s, he ran the contest for high school kids out of Elk Grove High School.
“The (Foulks family is) very instrumental, especially in the development in the growth of California as a whole. And to see both (Foulks) homes being preserved for future generations, that’s what the Native Sons are all about is preserving the history of California.”
As part of the plaque ceremony, the Grand Parlor team mixed sand, gravel and water and dabbed this mixture onto the edges of the plaque.
The event also featured the presentation of pins to Jim and Annaclare Entrican for their 10 years of membership in Native Sons of the Golden West Parlor #41.
“Annaclaire and I are very proud to be Native Sons of the Golden West members and for all that it stands for,” Jim told the Citizen. “It encourages other people that we sponsor to follow our example for long-term commitment.”
Elk Grove Historical Society President Ken Miller summarized the event.
“It’s so special, because (the 1853 Foulks House is) the oldest house in Elk Grove,” he said. “I think it’s special, because preserving this house is significant for Elk Grove. We’re really proud to be able to show it off.”