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New Citrus Heights history display set up inside Sunrise Mall

The former Samuel’s Jeweler’s store at Sunrise Mall now features display panels showcasing Citrus Heights history. // CH Sentinel

By Thomas J. Sullivan–
As businesses inside Sunrise Mall struggle to survive, one recently closed store has been creatively re-purposed by the Citrus Heights Historical Society.

Fourteen new colorful historical display panels now fill the windows of the former Samuel’s Jewelers store, located opposite See’s Candies and across from the entrance to Macy’s women’s store.

Store windows where customers once gazed at the latest in jewelry fashion, now tell the story of some of Citrus Heights’ most famous landmarks and historic businesses, said Larry Fritz, president of the local historical society.

“We’ve created some exciting new panels which celebrate and tell the history of Sunrise Mall, with maps and original photos they’ve generously provided us,” Fritz said.

Column: Celebrating the history of Sunrise Mall

The historic panels include an overview of the former Sylvan School and a look at how Citrus Heights got its name. Passers-by who pause will learn about the history of well-known local landmarks including Sylvan Cemetery, the Rusch Home, 14-Mile House and the little-known Florida Inn.

The Florida Inn was once the scene of a popular 1920s roadhouse restaurant, inn and service station near the corner of Auburn Boulevard and Greenback Lane.

Related: Citrus Heights Historical Society uncovers history of once-popular inn

The story of some of the oldest, still-operating businesses in Citrus Heights is also told.

Harris Industrial Gases at 8475 Auburn Blvd., has been operating in the same location since 1936, and the Price Funeral Home on Sunrise Boulevard near Greenback Lane since the early 1960s. Both businesses were profiled in Sentinel feature stories last year.

Related: The story behind the oldest business in Citrus Heights

A look back at the history of Mitchell Farms, now a new residential subdivision in development and the seasonally popular Pumpkin Farm are also featured in the window display panels.

“The panels provide an opportunity to re-introduce the Citrus Heights Historical Society to the local community and to share the rich history of our city,” Fritz said. Use of the window displays by the society is being provided by the management of Sunrise Mall at no cost.

“We do have many more display panels which we hope to create and then exhibit,” he added. The display panels are typically set up at the Rusch Home during the annual Sunday Funday event at Rusch Park.

Local History: Family carries on legacy of Citrus Heights Pumpkin Farm

Lacking a physical museum of its own to showcase many of the historical artifacts in its collection, the Citrus Heights Historical Society’s new presence at the Sunrise Mall, in an especially prominent new public location, serves to “showcase its continuing involvement in the community and we hope will boost potential membership,” Fritz said.

Those interested in learning more about the Citrus Heights Historical Society can find more information on their Facebook page.

*Note: The Sentinel’s policy is to disclose any potential conflicts of interest to our readers. This article was written by Thomas J. Sullivan, who is a contributing writer to The Sentinel and also a member of the Citrus Heights Historical Society.

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