Elk Grove Historic District and Elk Grove Hotel
Elk Grove, now part of the larger Sacramento area, was founded in 1850 as a stagecoach stop. The Elk Grove Historic District is consists of the remaining commercial and residential buildings from the original Elk Grove community. The Elk Grove Hotel dates from the 1870s, when the town experienced a growth spurt as a result of the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad line in 1868.
Backstory and Context
Elk Grove was founded in 1850 as a stagecoach stop. The discovery of gold two years earlier transformed the area, and travelers from the Bay Area and Sacramento regularly passed through the area. Elk Grove’s proximity to Sutter’s Fort made it a vital, if small, town for trade, entertainment, and agriculture. The Elk Grove Hotel was built to accommodate the influx of travelers and the new community was named for the hotel.
The turning point came for Elk Grove in 1868, however, when the Central Pacific Railroad line was built there. The rail line connected the town with Sacramento, Stockton, and other cities, and with an absence of essential goods and services, the Elk Grove Building Association was created to bring businesses to the community. A new Elk Grove Hotel was built near the rail line. Agriculture began to flourish in the area, and the availability of grain led to the development of a flour mill.
The Elk Grove Hotel is a simple, two-story structure—a typical hotel of that time. It was substantially remodeled over the years and was boarded up in the 1980s when the historic district was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Pinkerton, Elizabeth. History. Old Town Elk Grove. Accessed October 20, 2017. http://www.oldtownelkgrove.com/history.