The origin of the name Greenhaven
By Lance Armstrong
For well more than a half century, local residents have referred to a portion of the Pocket area as Greenhaven.
Commuters in the area often see Greenhaven Drive and a nearby pedestrian bridge above Riverside Boulevard that invites people to the Pocket-Greenhaven area.
There is also a sign that reads: “Welcome to the Pocket-Greenhaven neighborhood.”
Additionally, a residential complex at 6230 Greenhaven Drive is called The Villas at Greenhaven.
With the name so prominent in the area, the obvious question is posed: “What is the origin of the name Greenhaven?”
The name actually dates back to the early 1960s through the development of a neighborhood known as Greenhaven 70.
The project was established by developers, Kermit L. Lincoln and Harold E. Parker, of L&P Land Development, Inc., and ground was broken for this neighborhood in 1961.
L&P acquired 708 acres for the project from the Ellsworth Cavis Zacharias and King families in 1958.
The master plan for Greenhaven 70 was created by David Whittet.
But before the city could approve that plan, L&P Land Development was required to present a proposed plan for the entire 4,674-acre Pocket area. That latter named plan was known as the Pocket Area General Development Plan.
That plan originally included homes, schools, a marina on the river, a shopping center, two churches, a hospital with medical offices, a social-cultural center with a library and a theater, gas stations, a teen center, an open space pavilion, a heliport, a nursery, a motel, a hotel, arts and crafts shops, a firehouse, a restaurant, a cabana swimming club, a pedestrian overpass above Riverside Boulevard, a pedestrian underpass from the residential area to the extended parkway at Riverside Boulevard, and a recreation area around the present Lake Greenhaven.
Today, Lake Greenhaven is surrounded by a private residential area.
Among the builders in the Greenhaven neighborhood were Lee Basford and Evan Zacharias, a grandson of Ellsworth Cavis Zacharias. Evan even built his own home on Royal Garden Avenue.
A 1962 Greenhaven 70 advertisement recognizes this development as “the start of tomorrow” and notes that this then-future community would present “a new and better way of living for the entire family.”
Although the majority of Greenhaven 70 consisted of houses, the frontage of the neighborhood, from Greenhaven Drive to Havenside Drive, was reserved as a construction area for apartment buildings.
A park, which begins at Riverside Boulevard, extends through the neighborhood and ends near Florin Road, eventually became known as Frank H. Seymour Park. Today, signage for the park reads Frank Seymour Park.
Seymour was a longtime Sacramento City Council member and was dedicated to making contributions to recreational opportunities in the capital city. For many years, he was chairman of the council’s Recreation Committee.
It took a few years before L&P began to physically develop Greenhaven 70, which was partially named after its 1970 target year for completion.
Greenhaven 70 was recognized for its attractive homes and residents of the neighborhood originally belonged to the Greenhaven Homeowners Association.
The success of Greenhaven 70 won it the National Association of Home Builders award for community planning, and the neighborhood became recognized as the newest and most progressive home development in Sacramento.