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Visit To Locke And Rio Vista

THERE IS ONE REASON why we were taken to this river drive... My BIL wanted us to visit a place called Locke, a surname which is similar as to my mother's, my grandfather's,my great-grandfather and the list goes on.  I was also curious why this small place was named Locke in the middle of California... and now I know why....

Locke was founded in 1915 after a fire broke out in the Chinese section of nearby Walnut Grove. The Chinese who lived in that area decided that it was time to establish a town of their own. A committee of Chinese merchants, led by Lee Bing, Chan Hing Sai, Tom Wai, Chan Dai Kee, Ng So Hat, Chan Wai Lum, Chow Hou Bun, and Suen Dat Suin was formed. They approached land owner George Locke and inquired if they could build on his land. An agreement was reached. The town was laid out by Chinese architects and industrious building ensued. The founding of Lockeport, later 'Locke', was a reality. By 1920 Locke stood essentially as you see it now.

Levee construction originally brought the Chinese to this area, but by the time Locke was built most of the work was in farm labor. Locke had many businesses that catered to the farm workers and residents of this region. In the 1940's restaurants, bakeries, herb shops, fish markets, gambling halls, boarding houses, brothels, grocery stores, a school, clothing stores, and the Star Theatre lined the bustling streets of Locke. At its peak 600 residents, and as many as 1500 people occupied the town of Locke.

On August 2, 1970, Locke was added to the registry of national historical places, by the Sacramento County Historical Society, because of its unique status as the only town in the United States built exclusively by the Chinese for the Chinese.

Locke is no tourist trap, nor is it a ghost town. Its unusual, out-of-the-way charm is genuine. Perhaps it is this authenticity, without any hypocritical overtones, which brings so many out of town visitors to its doors.  

So Locke is not a Chinese surname as I thought it was though the community are mostly Chinese, so I heard...
This museum formerly a school greeted us upon arrival....
But the main road looks pretty quiet.. no souls in sight.... 
I wonder where they are.... 
But the shops were opened for business...
Nobody, nobody but us.....
This place might be suitable for movie filming.... 
So ancient-like...... with Chinese words on every shop....
Perhaps the remake of a thriller movie can be done here... 
Starting with us first.... 
After spending some minutes we proceeded on our way to...
To another city... 
Called Rio Vista....
Where the rivers meet.... 
Took a couple of pictures to mark our "presence"
Here and there.... 
And soon we were on our back ... stopping halfway to buy some "snacks".. 
And then on the way passing through Lodi and back to 
Sacramento for our dinner at Texas Roadhouse....


  1. What a special place! Something very unique. Yes, it would make a great movie, even a documentary!

  2. Very interesting place, Locke. I sure would love to visit, a place that is different from the usual cities, so boring.

    1. By the way, there was this guy Keith Locke who used to sing with the Singapore band, The Quests in the 60's - I think he was in the British army, definitely not a Chinese...

    2. Oh sounds like he is from the Locke ancestors.. :) You are really into the music shows!

  3. interesting place...most structure are still wooden? they maintain and preserve that place very well...

    1. Yeah, they are preserving so that they don't fall apart..

  4. Interesting history. Well, we Chinese are everywhere!

  5. looks deserted like a ghost town! did you talk to any chinese there?

    1. No, didnt see anyone around except for a small schoolgirl who just came down from a school bus.. :)

  6. Nobody but you guys? Sounds like a ghost town... *gulp*

  7. I think the Chinese folks have made San Francisco Chinatown as their new base today.

    1. Yes, when I enter the chinatown in SF, it seems I were in HK instead or China.. hahaha

  8. Looking at these beautiful pictures, can well understand why your BIL insisted that you visit this place :)


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