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Five facts you probably didn’t know about Citrus Heights

Citrus Heights schoolhouse, veterans center
The first one-room school house in Citrus Heights stands at 6921 Sylvan Rd., where it is now used as a veterans community center. // M. Hazlip

By Sara Beth Williams–
Citrus Heights recently celebrated its 25th anniversary of becoming a city, but the 14-square-mile region has thrived for decades beforehand. Below are five facts about Citrus Heights that many don’t know.

There’s a band called “Citrus Heights” in the United Kingdom that is named after the City of Citrus Heights. 

The name “Citrus Heights” was given to the area back in 1910 when developers were attempting to sell 10-acre plots of land in what had been called “Sylvan.” In 2016, Citrus Heights also became the name of an indie-pop band in the United Kingdom.

In a 2018 interview with The Sentinel, drummer Luke Chambers said the band’s 26-year-old bassist had traveled to California on multiple occasions and the band drew inspiration from the atmosphere and vibe of the state. “We wanted a name which was closely related to it, so we looked at all the cities and Citrus Heights just kinda stuck,” Chambers said.

Read more: Did you know there’s a UK band named ‘Citrus Heights’?

The daughter of a United States President is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Citrus Heights.

Maureen Reagan, daughter of former president and California governor Ronald Reagan, was buried in Calvary Cemetery in 2001. According to an SFGATE article dated Aug. 8, 2001, Reagan died at the age of 60 after a five-year battle with cancer. The news outlet said she was remembered as a “champion of women in politics, a relentless crusader against the Alzheimer’s disease that has stricken her father and a woman who lived up to the code name Secret Service agents gave her: ‘Radiant.’”

A photo showcasing her memorial at Calvary Cemetery can be seen on the Famous Graves Facebook page. Read more: Who’s buried in Citrus Heights? Several nationally known names lie beneath

Harris Industrial Gases is the oldest, still-operating business in Citrus Heights.

In 1936, Harold A. Harris opened Harris Welding on Auburn Boulevard, and when it was first established, the location was so remote that the address printed on their calendars was “one mile south of Roseville on U.S. 40.” Harris Industrial Gases is the largest independent provider of industrial gases and welding supplies in the Sacramento Valley and surrounding areas.

The business has remained in the Harris family for 80 years, owned and operated through four generations. According to an interview with The Sentinel in 2019, the company’s president, Kathleen Harris, attributed the business’s success to “the tradition of providing personal service for companies both large and small.”

Read more: The story behind the oldest business in Citrus Heights

The former Birdcage Walk shopping mall had an aviary with live birds in cages.

Birdcage Walk was a local fixture for over two decades in the region, before Citrus Heights became a city. The open-air mall hosted 60-plus specialty shops and restaurants, a small movie theater and two aviaries, according to a post on the Citrus Heights Historical Society’s Facebook page. The mall was landscaped with fountains and ponds, along with the aviaries, and even sported an ice rink, according to comments on the society’s Facebook post. The Birdcage Walk was demolished beginning in 1997, and would eventually be replaced by the Marketplace at Birdcage shopping center.

The Veterans Community Center on Sylvan Road was once a one-room school house.

The building at 6921 Sylvan Rd. now serving as the Citrus Heights Veterans Community Center, was originally built in 1862 and served as a one-room schoolhouse. The school was called Sylvan School. Decades later, the building became a central meeting place for the community of Citrus Heights and served as its center for over 40 years, according to veterans center’s website.

The schoolhouse was then sitting at the northwest corner of Sylvan Road and Auburn Boulevard, but was subsequently moved to where it now sits on Sylvan Road. In 2011, Veterans Golf Park for Disabled Veterans acquired the building and has transformed it into a Veteran’s Community Center.

Read more: The history of Citrus Heights’ first one-room schoolhouse

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