At a time when Fulton Avenue was still a dirt road and the surrounding property was pasture and hop fields, Chris Jones, Wilbur Brand and Frank (Squeaky) Williams pioneered a development that remains one of the most desirable areas of Sacramento.
In 1929, when the map of Sierra Oaks was recorded, Sacramento had a population of 110,000. Believing there was a need for “country” living close to the city, the developers embarked on this experiment in suburban living. Until that time there were no developments outside the city limits.
A prominent land planner from St. Louis was hired to create a prestigious setting. The first tract of Sierra Oaks opened in 1929 and included Crocker, Hopkins and Mills Roads with Stanford Park located at H St Road, now named Fair Oaks Boulevard. Unique building restrictions were drafted to preserve the character of the area, including 50 foot setbacks and provisions that all homes be built 40 feet apart. Most of the early homes were built in the Normandy style. Some wonderful examples remain, primarily designed by Frank (Squeaky) Williams.
A few at a time, many of Sacramento’s prominent families left their homes in the city to settle here. The lot prices for the first sales ranged from $7,500–$10,000. Richfield Oil Company leased the small Tudor style building on the corner of Stanford Park on Fair Oaks and opened a combination gas station and country store. The building is still standing today.
Sierra Oaks has grown into the lovely suburban area we know today. The approximate boundaries of Sierra Oaks are Fair Oaks Boulevard on the North, Watt Avenue on the East, Howe Avenue on the West and the American River on the South. Lack of sidewalks, lots of mature vegetation and meandering lanes enhance the rural feel of the neighborhoods.
Sierra Oaks has several popular neighborhood parks, including Oak Meadow Park and Sierra Oaks School Park. Residents love the easy access to the American River Parkway with bike and walking trails. Right in the middle of Sierra Oaks is the highly rated Sierra Oaks School.
Written by Jay Feagles