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.
Current and Upcoming Events in Locke:
Come to Locke to experience a memorable Chinese New Year from Feb 7 - 22, 2016, in which Feb. 13, 14, 15 have the following special events:
Free Chinese Calligraphy Lesson - Sunday, February 7, 2016 at Locke Chinese School Museum, 13920 Main Street, Locke from 11 AM to 12 Noon.
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Year of the Ram 2015
RAM people are elegant, charming, generous, wise and gentle. They are also pessimists, hesitant, and over-anxious worriers. Uncertainty causes the Ram people to seek guidance from others while their timidity prevents them from becoming great leaders. They are deeply religious and highly talented in the fields of art and music. Ram people should be good in the professions of gardening, actor, artist, entertainer, musician, or photography.
This page last updated: 01/30/16