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Folsom A to Z: Nisenan people

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 “N.”

  • “Nisenan” (Nee-Seh-Nahn) simply means “the people.”
  • The Nisenan mountain peoples inhabited the foothills to the crests of the Sierras for thousands of years before the Gold Rush.
  • They lived in harmony with the land, harvesting acorns, hunting wild game and collecting native plants for food and medicine.
  • Nisenan Community Park was named for the native peoples of the Folsom region.
  • Evidence of their presence within Nisenan Community Park is preserved by bedrock grinding stones in the oak grove, and along Willow Creek where acorn meal was made.
  • This park celebrates the history of the people who lived within these lands.
  • Maidu and Miwok descendants of the Nisenan live in surrounding communities and are still spiritually connected to this land.
  • Today, you may catch a glimpse of wild turkeys, red-tailed hawks, rabbits, small rodents, snakes and even a coyote or bobcat in the parklands and open space.
  • This park and oak woodlands are now a rich amenity for the present community which makes Folsom “Distinctive by Nature.”