Another Historic Home of Fair Oaks - the Alvin Heim Home

Real Estate Agent with Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) DRE# 00809499

4940 Minnesota Ave, Fair Oaks, CA historic Heim home near North Ridge golf course

The history of Fair Oaks is full of intertwining families, and so it is with this month’s Old Home feature - the Alvin L. Heim Home at 4940 Minnesota Ave. Alvin came to Fair Oaks from Indiana in 1909, buying 10 acres on Minnesota, tucked against what is now the North Ridge Golf Course. He married Vena Bishop in 1915, and had three children - Adolph, Alvin W., and daughter Thalia (born 1922).  By 1929, it appears Alvin Heim had built the two story home which still stands on Minnesota, although it has been substantially added to.


Alvin developed quite an orchard of mixed pecan and almond trees, using the latest progressive methods.  He was also quite civic minded, becoming the Assessor of the Fair Oaks Irrigation District, a Socialist Candidate for State Legislature, a candidate for State Superintendent of Education, and a Socialist nominee for Congress.


As we fast forward through time, we witness the home pass to four additional families.  The Heim children subdivided the land in 1959, selling the home on 3/4 acre to Jeanette Whittlesey, who in turn sold to Bryant and Marlene Serrao in 1985.  In 1996, the home passed to Eddie and Linda Riggs, who are the current owners.


Eddie recalls a day about ten years ago when a woman approached him, curious about the home.  It was youngest daughter Thalia, then 88, who recounted her remembrances of the cabin they lived in “over by the golf course”, as her father built the home.  She remembers coming up the driveway in a horse-drawn cart to view the progress.  She pointed out to Eddie the trees which were planted in honor of each child - trees which are still there today (although storms have taken their toll recently).


Evelyn (Rickets) and Al Heim of Fair OaksBut there is another family which is part of this home’s history, which many Historical Society members will remember.  The Earl Ricketts family lived nearby on San Juan Avenue, and daughter Evelyn Ricketts married young Alvin W. (“Al”), becoming Evelyn Heim.  Al, Evelyn and Thalia all went to San Juan High School together, with Evelyn and Thalia in the same class. Evelyn and Al later built their home on 2 acres on Kentucky Lane in Fair Oaks, in 1947.


Today, Eddie and Linda still tend to the pecan and almond trees Alvin planted. During various remodeling projects, they have uncovered old oil cans and bleached driftwood used as fire blocks. They have kept the old claw foot tub, and some original windows, and have stripped layers of paint off the original fir flooring and clear heart redwood baseboards. A few rooms still have the original lath and plaster, as well. Of particular interest is the fireplace.  We know from The old Chambers Pastel Yellow Gas Range is still in useEvelyn Heim’s memoires that Alvin was a bricklayer, proficient in building fireplaces. His original fireplace is still in use, with vents much like the modern Heat-i-lator.


The Riggs still cook on the Chambers Pastel Yellow Gas Range. In 2005, The Riggs added a 2800 s.f. addition, which necessitated the removal of a 300 year old oak tree which had blanketed the property, but was dying. As the rotted limbs came down, Eddie realized how lucky they were to take the tree down before its weight crushed what was underneath.

Posted by


Your Fair Oaks Realtor for homes for sale in Fair Oaks and the Sacramento Area of California.... I'm your gal (Sally Dunbar). I'm occasionally knowledgable, periodically humorous, and always willing to tell you everything I know.  What more could you ask for?

Here are the newest listings for Fair Oaks, Orangevale, Citrus Heights, Folsom, Carmichael, Gold River, and Roseville - all CA, of course.

More Blog posts by Sally Dunbar at www.FairOaksHomesAndMore.comSally's Website at to search for all homes in the MLS, and for tons of information for buyers and sellers.  You'll find schools information, market statistics... you name it, I got it!  Come visit me.




Sally Dunbar, 35 year Broker Associate, Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks, CA (916) 524-1548, "Your Fair Oaks Realtor"

Comments (7)

Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Gosh, I've been in the Greater Sacramento area all my life, and didn't know about that historic home!  I love posts like this one!

Mar 30, 2016 11:18 AM
Winston Heverly
Winston Realty, Inc. - Atlantis, FL

It is hard to believe that we are one day away of finishing the first quarter of the year. We are now in full bloom sales mode so wishing you a prosperous 2nd quarter.

Mar 30, 2016 02:52 PM
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Las Vegas, NV

Hello Sally ...

This is a very interesting old home with some great history!

Apr 04, 2016 11:24 AM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty

Well presented and interesting history of this home Sally Dunbar  - we are now "following" you!

Apr 10, 2016 03:38 AM
Carol Weber

I believe this house was built by my great grandfather after he moved from Warrick County, Indiana to California.

Apr 14, 2018 07:02 PM
Sally Dunbar
Lyon Real Estate, Fair Oaks CA (Sacramento Area) - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks Realtor - Fair Oaks Homes for Sale

Really?  How did you find this blog post?  Whick of the kids is your relative?  Do you have any additional information?  Would love to hear it.

Apr 15, 2018 05:37 PM
Mary Heim Clark

Thank you Sally for passing on this bit of history. A.L. Heim was my grandfather (A. W. Heim was my father). I have many wonderful memories from being there until it was sold in 1959.

May 17, 2019 01:19 PM