Folsom, California

"Far from Folsom prison, that's where I want to stay..."

While most of the country has only ever heard of Folsom, California from Johnny Cash's song, the city has become a great place to live and has even been recognized as the number one city in California to raise a family. With a strong school system, a variety of recreational activities, a growing number of shopping and entertainment centers, and only a short drive from the State Capitol and Downtown Sacramento, it's no wonder why Folsom has become an incredible place to lay down roots.

Folsom was first settled during the Gold Rush in the nearby Sierra Mountains. It’s named after an Army Captain named Joseph Libbey Folsom who bought a huge plot of land - Rancho Rio de los Americanos – after the Mexican-American War. Folsom started the town of Granite City, whose inhabitants were mostly miners, gold prospectors, and those who had traveled west to find riches. But it wasn’t gold that made the town famous – it was the railroad, as Libbey worked tirelessly to establish a railroad stop that connected to Sacramento. In 1855, Granite City was renamed Folsom to commemorate his contribute. The city of Folsom was formally incorporated in 1946.


Location and Demographics:

Folsom is a city situated in the foothills of the Sierra Mountain range in Sacramento County, California, only 23 miles from the city of Sacramento. Folsom covers a total area of 24.3 square miles, 21.9 square miles of which is land and 2.4 square miles comprised of water.

As of the 2015, the population of Folsom was 72,203. Of those, 6,772 (9.4%) were institutionalized, which means almost 10% of the people in Folsom are in prison!


Affluence & Employment

The median household income in Folsom is $95,623, well over national average. The cost of living was just as high, however, at 138% of the national average! Intel, Sacramento’s largest private employer, has made its home in Folsom, employing 6,515 people. The next largest employer in Folsom is the California State Prison, with 1,450 jobs, and then Verizon Wireless with 1,100.


Things to Do

There are plenty of art showings, festivals, musical performances, and other cultural exhibits in Folsom, with the city having its own ballet and symphony. But beautiful Folsom Lake remains the city’s main draw, attracting hikers, horseback riders, swimmers, cyclists, sunbathers, fishermen, and boaters almost daily no matter what season. Folsom Lake spans 4.8 miles of surface area and is bordered by the Folsom Lake Recreation Area.


Folsom Lake

Folsom Lake is a reservoir of the American River that was formed by the Folsom Dam in 1955 which replaced a smaller dam that was created in the 1890's. The dam is about 340 feet tall and 1,400 feet long. The lake itself is actually located in Placer, Sacramento, and El Dorado Counties and covers a surface ares of over 11,450 acres.


Real Estate in Folsom

Folsom real estate values remain high because it’s such a desirable place to live and work. But with the city’s master plan almost full and no easy places to build, Folsom real estate sells quickly and usually for full asking price. People are so eager to buy real estate in Folsom for several reasons– a strong economy with plenty of jobs, access to Folsom Lake, the city’s historic charm, good schools, low crime rates, with the FBI Uniformed Crime Report ranking Folsom as one of the safest communities in all of California. No wonder home sales are vibrant in Folsom!


Folsom has a school system that performs well above California and national standards. The Folsom school system is rated 9 out of 10 by, including these noted individual schools: Empire Oaks Elementary School, Russell Ranch Elementary School, and Sandra J. Gallardo Elementary School are all rated 10 out of 10. Carl H. Sundahl Elementary School and Folsom Community Charter School are rated 9 out of 10.

Folsom is also home to well-established Folsom Lake College.

To find out more about Folsom schools, you can visit the school district's website:


More About Folsom, California

Famous Residents of Folsom:

  • Jerry Horton, guitarist for Papa Roach
  • Cristina Mendonsa, News10 Anchor KXTV in Sacramento
  • Dmitry Tursunov, Tennis Player, Representing Russia in 2008 Olympics
  • Peter Camejo, Green Party Activist
  • John "Spider" Jorgensen, baseball player for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Jackie Robinson's teammate

Famous Folsom Prison

In 1880, Folsom Prison was established in Folsom, on land donated to the state in exchange for free prison labor for the Livermore family sawmill. The sawmill never flourished but the Folsom Prison remained. Folsom Prison went on to infamy in 1956 when Johnny Cash sang the iconic song, The Folsom Prison Blues, in front of a captive (and captured) audience of prisoners.



Homes for Sale in Folsom:

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