According to Wikipedia
Folsom is named for Joseph Libbey Folsom who purchased Rancho Rio de los Americanos from the heirs of a San Francisco merchant William Alexander Leidesdorff, and laid out the town called Granite City, mostly occupied by gold miners seeking fortune in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Though few amassed a great deal of wealth, the city prospered due to Joseph Folsom's lobbying to get a railway to connect the town with Sacramento. Joseph died in 1855, and Granite City was later renamed to Folsom in his honor. The railway was abandoned in the 1980s but later opened up as the terminus of the Gold Line of Sacramento Regional Transit District's light rail service. A few former gold-rush era towns are located within city limits of Folsom, including Prairie City, California, Salmon Falls, and Mormon Island (though these towns no longer exist).
Folsom was home to a significant Chinese American community when it was first incorporated, but arsonists burned Folsom's Chinatown in March 1886, driving Chinese Americans out of town.
Folsom Prison was established in 1880, when the Livermore family made an agreement with the state to donate land for the prison in exchange for prison labor. Their plan was to build a hydro-electric dam from the American River for a sawmill. Though the sawmill did not work out, the Livermores soon realized that the natural force of running water could provide enough power to transmit to Sacramento, and the Folsom Powerhouse, now a National Historic Landmark, was opened. At the time it was opened, it had the longest overhead run of electricity (22 miles) in the country. The powerhouse operated until 1952.
Folsom Dam was built in 1956, providing much-needed flood control and water rights for the Sacramento Valley. The creation of this dam also created one of the most popular lakes in Northern California, Folsom Lake. The dam is located on the southwest corner of the lake. The lake is an estimated 4.8 miles (7.75 kilometers) from Granite Bay to the most southern point of Folsom Lake.
Folsom is home to Folsom Lake College, Folsom Dam, Folsom Lake, Folsom High School, Vista del Lago High School and a historic district. Folsom is also home to the largest private employer in the Sacramento area, Intel.
according to me
The merchants in Old Historic Folsom include Snooks Chocolate Factory. It is a factory with a view. Visit Jim and Renee and watch Jim make the candy. Don't leave without trying some of there Honeycomb candy or some Peanut Brittle or maybe one of the Truffles
Folsom Prison was put on the map with the Johnny Cash country western hit Folsom Prison Blues. According to the song he shot a man in Reno. Reno is in Nevada so you would not go to prison in a California prison.
When a new bridge was built over the American River between Folsom Dam and the prison many people proposed it be named the Johnny Cash Memorial Bridge. The City Council did not approve the name.
The generators for the Old Folsom Power House were AC based on designs by Nikola Tesla. Tesla's AC eventually won out over Thomas Edison's DC power plants.
The winter of 2010/2011 has set records for rain and snow. This forced Folsom Dam to open 5 spillways. Check out the pictures.
In 2009 the City of Folsom started a project to redo the Historic Old Folsom. These chaqnges were needed for several reasons. Old failing sewer system, sidewalks that did not meet the Americans With Disabilities Act and trees in inadequate planters.
Many people protested against the changes feeling that they would destroy the feel of Old Folsom. But because of all the problems the project when ahead and is now all most complete.
These pictures show Sutter Street as of May 4, 2011.