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Locke Archives - Ghost Town Map

Historic Locke California

Historic Locke California

Historic Locke California

Locke is a historic town, born of late 19th and early 20th Century Racism towards Chinese. Exclusion laws kept people of Chinese (and yes, other skin colors,) from owning land in California. The town was located in the Sacramento Valley of California in what is now Walnut Grove California.

Originally called Lockporte, the townsite was a collection of three Chinese owned buildings in 1912. The land was owned by George Locke who leased it to the Chinese.

After fire broke out in the Chinese section of Walnut Grove on October 7, 1915, the population fragmented into two parts. One stayed behind to rebuild, the second moved the mile north to Lockporte. Four more buildings were built and the town name was shortened to Locke.

Historic Locke California

“Al the Wop’s Saloon and Restaurant” and the “Dai Loy Musuem” courtesy of EVintagePhoto

Looking down the board walk photo by Mitch Lorens

Looking down the board walk photo by Mitch Lorens

Within a couple of years, Locke’s Chinese population was estimated to be between 1000 to 1500 people. Mostly farmers and laborers, they worked on farms through out the region in all capacities. By the 1950s most of the town population had disappeared, integrated into larger cities.

The townsite of Locke was purchased in 1977 by a Hong-Kong Developer from George Locke’s decedents. The town site was designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1990 as it was a prime example of a Chinese-American Rural Community. The town site was sold to the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency in 2002, who worked with residents to purchase the land their homes were on in 2004.

Historic Locke California

Locke Main Street, 1980s. Courtesy of EVintagePhoto

The town still remains a bit of a tourist attraction with historically preserved buildings including the Locke Boarding House Museum ran by the The Locke Foundation.

The town has since then been completely absorbed by Walnut Grove, California.

Visit the Official Locke Website

Locke Mainstreet, by Mitch Lorens

Locke Mainstreet, by Mitch Lorens

3512600023_bd4fddb733_b 3513399154_3626b022f7_b Locke-main-street Als-Place

Please visit the author's website at http://evintagephoto.com/locke-california/