Folsom A to Z: John Kemp

By: Rachel Zirin, Senior Reporter
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Editor’s note: Folsom A to Z is an intermittent series in the Telegraph where readers can learn facts and history about Folsom. Each week, the Telegraph will select a landmark, place, historical figure and major historical event that start with the next letter of the alphabet. This week we continue with “K.”

  • John Kemp was born on July 21, 1940, in Crescent City.
  • Kemp has been married to his wife, Leslie, for 55 years.
  • Once Kemp and his family moved to Folsom, he was inspired to improve Folsom’s recreational opportunities.
  • He secured an acre of property from developers on White Rock Road behind Aerojet.
  • Kemp was told to take his house to Folsom or Sheldon, and he decided to take it to Folsom.
  • In a recent interview with the Telegraph, Kemp said he made the right choice by choosing Folsom.
  • Kemp picked up his house and moved it, in its entirety, to what is now Kemp Court.
  • Kemp said when he brought his house to Folsom, there were no other houses in the subdivision.
  • When it came time to develop the subdivision and name the streets, Kemp asked Jack Kipp to name the street Kemp Court.
  • The city was not going to name it Kemp originally, but once he asked, they said it was OK.
  • As an owner of American River Aggregates, Kemp has made numerous donations of equipment and materials throughout the years for various community projects and events, as well as provided numerous sponsorships to youth sports organizations.
  • Kemp has served as the president of the Folsom Historical Society twice and has contributed many hours toward the museum.
  • He has been an active member with the Chamber of Commerce, serving on the board of directors, and was honored with the Chambers “Man of the Year” award.
  • In addition, he has been active in the Folsom Rotary Club and Folsom Elks Lodge.
  • During his presidency of the Folsom Rotary Club, Kemp created Folsom’s first car show and contributed to the Community Center Marquee.
  • Kemp originally joined Rotary in 1985.
  • Currently, Kemp keeps his membership with the Folsom Rotary Club, but he is not an active member.
  • Kemp’s influence throughout the community has helped Folsom improve its youth sports and continues to increase participation and opportunities.
  • John Kemp Community Park was named in his honor and is located at 1322 Bundrick Drive.
  • Kemp said he really enjoys the porch at his house.