This building was built in 1915 funded by the KMT (Kao Ming Tong, or the Chinese Nationalist Party founded by Dr. Sun Yat Sen). The building was used by the KMT members as a meeting place and also used by the Locke community as a town hall.
In 1926, the building was changed to use as a Chinese school to teach Chinese language to the local kids. The school was called Kao Ming School. In the early years, the Chinese children, after regular school, would study at this school until dinner. The Kao Ming school was closed around 1940 for a few years.
Around 1954, with the help of the Joe Shoong Foundation, the Chinese school was reopened again under the name of Joe Shoong School. The school was named after Joe Shoong who founded the National Dollar Stores. A millionaire, he endowed Chinese language, art and culture schools for Chinese youth. The school was closed in the mid-eighties due to lack of Chinese children in town.
History of Dr. Sun Yet Sen:
Sun Yat-sen is considered the “Father of Modern China,” who, one hundred years ago, was crucial in starting the revolution to overthrow the decrepit Qing Dynasty.
Sun Yat-sen was the primary political leader who planned for a modern China with his “Three People’s Principles,” nationalism, democracy, and people’s livelihood, which became the ideological foundation for the Nationalist Party, which Sun Yat-sen co-founded.
Sun Yat-sen traveled the world, including at least two trips in 1909 and 1910 to the Sacramento Delta region, to rally support and raise funds for the revolution. The Chinese in the Sacramento Delta region were attracted to Sun Yat-sen because of his message and passion, and because he was one of them, a native of the Pearl River Delta region in Guangdong Province in Southeast China.
Sun Yat-sen came from a village near Zhongshan, China, the same city and county from which nearly all Locke Chinese residents came. Sun Yat-sen drew large crowds in Delta towns, including Courtland where he sought refuge from his political rivals. Although Locke was founded after the 1911 revolution and after Sun Yat-sen no longer traveled to America, the people of Locke remembered his presence in the Delta and continued supporting his efforts in China.
This building was built in 1915 with funds from Sun Yat-sen’s party known as the KMT as a branch office and also as Locke’s town hall. This building became a Chinese School in 1926.
It is only fitting that Locke, the only rural Chinese town left in America, built by the Chinese for the Chinese, commemorates Sun Yat-sen with a bust on display in front of this Chinese School House, a language and culture school which the Nationalist Party helped established.
The bust will be a reminder of Sun Yat-sen’s vision of a modern and strong China, and of a democratic and prosperous Chinese people wherever they may live, including here in America, including here in Locke.
This bust is a gift from the Zhongshan Municipal People's Government of China.
The Chinese school building is now a museum and open to the public free of charge. This building opens Tuesday through Sunday from 11 to 4.30p.m. Please call (916)776-1661 for special arrangement.