Locke, Uncertain Future?

Good story from the California Sun, about one of our family’s favorite places and you can join the Locke Foundation at http://www.locke-foundation.org/ to help out..

An excerpt.

Perched along a river bank in the California Delta is the only surviving town in the U.S. to have been built by and for Chinese.

The tiny community of Locke traces its origins to this week in 1915 when the Chinatown in nearby Walnut Grove was destroyed in an accidental fire. That prompted a group of displaced Chinese to take a lease from a landowner named George Locke and create a place of their own just up the river.

Locke became a rare sanctuary from the anti-Chinese racism then rampant in California.

Chinese laborers had flowed into the delta region starting in the 1860s to do the grueling work of reclaiming the flood lands for agriculture. Many stayed to work the crops.

In a 1983 interview published in “Bitter Melon,” an oral history of Locke, a longtime resident of the delta, Bing Fai Chow, recalled the hostility they faced: “We never dared to walk on the streets alone then — except in Locke. This was our place.”

In its heyday, between the 1920s and ’40s, Locke was home to more than a thousand Chinese residents. On the weekends, the population would swell as visitors arrived to indulge in the town’s gambling halls, brothels, and opium dens.

Retrieved October 11, 2018 from https://www.californiasun.co/stories/this-was-our-place-californias-last-chinese-town-faces-uncertain-future/

About David H Lukenbill

I am a native of Sacramento, as are my wife and daughter. I am a consultant to nonprofit organizations, and have a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Behavior and a Master of Public Administration degree, both from the University of San Francisco. We live along the American River with two cats and all the wild critters we can feed. I am the founding president of the American River Parkway Preservation Society and currently serve as the CFO and Senior Policy Director. I also volunteer as the President of The Lampstand Foundation, a nonprofit organization I founded in 2003.
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