Fair Oaks is a census-designated place (CDP) in Sacramento County, California, United States. It is part of the Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 28,008 at the 2000 census. Fair Oaks's zip code is 95628 and its area code is 916. Fair Oaks is bounded on the south side by the American River, and Rancho Cordova, on the north side by the city of Citrus Heights, on the west side by Carmichael, and the east side by Orangevale. Fair Oaks is known for its mix of suburban and semi-rural neighborhoods.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 10.3 square miles (26.7 km²), of which, 9.9 square miles (25.6 km²) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.1 km²) of it (4.17%) is water.
Fair Oaks's town center is known as Fair Oaks Village. The Plaza Park Amphitheater is located in this part of town. The Fair Oaks Theater Festival takes place here. The village area is also home to Spring Fest (formerly the Fair Oaks Fiesta) which is a celebration of the residents of the community of Fair Oaks. It is interesting to note that this area is known for its chickens. They run wild all over the village. They inhabit the two small parks in the old town area, and can often be seen fighting, begging for scraps, or roosting on the playground equipment.
The annual Fair Oaks Spring Fest takes place on the first Saturday and Sunday on May in Old Fair Oaks Village, Plaza Park and Village Park. There is a Parade on Saturday morning, followed by games for the children, craft and food booths, and a frog jumping contest. The annual Sun Run takes place on Sunday morning. For more information on this family-oriented two day event, visit the Fair Oaks Chamber website.
Fair Oaks also has an Annual Fair Oaks Chicken Festival taking place on the third Saturday in September in Old Fair Oaks Village. Learn more about it at the Fair Oaks Chicken Festival website.
Fair Oaks has an annual Dog Walk event on the 1st Saturday in October.
As of the census of 2000, there were 28,008 people, 11,203 households, and 7,842 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 2,832.7 people per square mile (1,093.4/km²). There were 11,461 housing units at an average density of 1,159.2/sq mi (447.4/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 88.04% White, 1.84% African American, 0.59% Native American, 4.22% Asian, 0.16% Pacific Islander, 1.78% from other races, and 3.37% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.31% of the population.
There were 11,203 households out of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.4% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.0% were non-families. 23.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.91.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 22.8% under the age of 18, 6.8% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 29.9% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 96.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.3 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $63,252, and the median income for a family was $74,864 (these figures had risen to $72,636 and $88,630 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $52,365 versus $39,138 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $31,874. About 4.6% of families and 6.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.2% of those under age 18 and 2.2% of those age 65 or over.
In 1895, Brevet Brigadier General Charles H. Howard and James W. Wilson of the Howard-Wilson Publishing Company of Chicago acquired rights to present Fair Oaks community, then primarily covered by citrus farms, from California Senator Frederick K. Cox and businessman Crawford W. Clarke. The Howard-Wilson Company surveyed and mapped the land and began to promote Fair Oaks as one of their “Sunset Colonies.” The Howard-Wilson Company advertised Fair Oaks as an innovative and growing citrus colony after destructive freezes in Southern California and Florida and a national depression hitting in 1893. Many of the purchasers were professionals and other friends of the investors and the Fair Oaks community was initially composed primarily of businessmen and other professionals, including bankers and engineers.
A club of businessmen in Chicago and Sacramento who had an investment (land or fruit) in the newborn colony and Orangevale formed the Chicago-Fair Oaks Club in 1899. Then a group of local businessmen, including Valentine S. McClatchy (the co-owner of the Sacramento Bee), incorporated the Fair Oaks Development Company in 1900. The boosters proclaimed Fair Oaks to be the “crown of the [Sacramento] valley,” in the “heart of California.”
Together these groups were able to succeed in constructing an efficient water supply. They convinced the County of Sacramento’s Chamber of Commerce, which McClatchy’s business partners from Orangevale created and chaired, to build a bridge across the American River at Fair Oaks in 1901. At the same time, the community leaders were also able to persuade the Southern Pacific Rail Road Company to build a railroad line to the bridge.
Fair Oaks grew rapidly with the completion of the Fair Oaks Bridge and the railroad line. The Fair Oaks Fruit Company incorporated in 1902 and built a warehouse in Fair Oaks to export not only citrus, but also almonds and olives. Also, in 1902, Dr. R. N. Bramhall became the first medical doctor to reside and set up office in Fair Oaks. The agricultural productivity attracted the development of other community services. Fair Oaks had become a typical small town by 1906 with a post office, hotel, blacksmith shop, lumber yard, pharmacy, bank, cemetery, newspaper, and a number of small dry-goods and grocery stores located along Main Street.
Two churches (Methodist and Presbyterian) were built and two schools (The Four Gables School and the Fair Oaks School—the current Community Clubhouse) appeared by 1910. The Fair Oaks Library Association formed in 1908 and constructed a permanent building in 1912. The Fair Oaks Civic Club purchased and developed the Plaza in 1918 for recreational and leisure activities. This plaza is still in use today.
A big freeze hit in 1932 at the height of the Great Depression and many or most citrus groves were lost. After this and a similar freeze in 1934, Fair Oaks was no longer a major producer of citrus fruit in California. Fortunately, growth of the defense firm Aerojet helped the Fair Oaks economy offset the demise of its primary industry. Some temporary dislocations occurred when employment at Aerojet dropped over 90% in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The growth rate still continued, however, because of the increased access to Sacramento by Highway 50 and the construction of the Sunrise Boulevard Bridge in 1964. This allowed for both residents of Fair Oaks to find greater employment in the connecting area and for Sacramentans to relocate to Fair Oaks more easily. The former citrus colony transformed into a bedroom community of greater Sacramento.
Republican and former California Attorney General Dan Lungren, represents most Fair Oaks residents in the US House of Representatives. However, the northeastern portion of Fair Oaks is in a different congressional district, and is currently (2008) represented by Republican Congressman Tom McClintock. Republican Dave Cox, a resident of Fair Oaks, represents the community in the State Senate, while Republican Roger Niello, represents the community in the State Assembly.
Fair Oaks is an unincorporated community represented by Roberta MacGlashan on the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors. A Local Planning Council, made up of 7 community members, is appointed by the Board of Supervisors to recommend land-use decisions for Fair Oaks. These recommendations are then sent to the Planning Commission of Sacramento County. The Sacramento County Sheriff provides law enforcement for Fair Oaks.
The main highway used to access Fair Oaks is Highway 50. The main boulevards are Madison Avenue (east-west), Sunrise Boulevard (County Highway E2) (north-south), Hazel Avenue (County Highway E3) (north-south), Sunset Avenue (east-west), and Fair Oaks Boulevard (east-west).
Fair Oaks' public library which is part of the Sacramento County library system is located at 11604 Fair Oaks Boulevard, near the corner of Madison Avenue, and adjacent to Fair Oaks Park. Fair Oaks Library has somewhat irregular hours: Mondays and Wednesdays (12 noon to 8 PM); Tuesdays and Thursdays (10 AM to 6 PM), Fridays (1 PM to 5 PM) and Saturdays (10 AM to 5 PM). It is closed on Sundays.