Locke, California

Located in the primarily agricultural region southwest of Sacramento, Locke was established by Chinese immigrants in 1915, migrating from nearby Walnut Grove after a fire destroyed the Chinatown area.  The town of Locke was leased, settled and established by Yeuhai-speaking Chinese, primarily from the Zhongshan region of China.  The town was built ‘by the Chinese, for the Chinese’, and hosted a Chinese-language school, general stores and restaurants as well as speakeasys and brothels.  The town was purchased in 1977 by a Hong Kong-based developer with plans to convert Locke into a housing development and tourist attraction, but plans have met with resistance from the local residents, now predominantly white.


<source: wikipedia.org & locketown.com >

The saga of Locke and an overview of it’s current residents has been chronicled by Jeff Gillenkirk and James Motlow –

Bitter Melon: Inside America’s Last Rural Chinese Town



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