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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Walnut Grove in Sacramento County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Walnut Grove, Est. 1850/Locke, Est. 1915

 
 
Walnut Grove, Est. 1850/Locke, Est. 1915 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, October 30, 2010
1. Walnut Grove, Est. 1850/Locke, Est. 1915 Marker
Inscription.
Walnut Grove, Est 1850
Walnut Grove was established in 1850 by John W. Sharp and is one of the earliest settlements along the Sacramento River. Chosen because of the abundant walnut and oak forests in the area, the town quickly prospered as an agricultural center and riverboat stop (the forests were timbered for steamship firewood). Walnut Grove became a major shipping port by 1865 for agricultural produce and fish, with Bartlett Pear as its primary product. By 1870 it was a thriving town full of small businesses, a school, post office, and Union Guard Armory. Due to the demands for rich agricultural land, the town’s size stayed compact but has the distinction of being the only river town along the Sacramento River to occupy both the east and west riverbanks. For years a ferry connected between, until the first bridge was opened in 1916. The bridge, since replaced by a modern span, was the first cantilevered counter-weight bascule drawbridge constructed west of the Mississippi River.

Locke, Est. 1915
The town of Locke was built in 1915 and is one of the early towns in the United States built entirely by Chinese settlers. The town itself endured to major fires however many of the original buildings are still standing. Locke was a bustling place with gambling houses, merchant
Kiosk at the Chuck Tison Memorial Park image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, October 30, 2010
2. Kiosk at the Chuck Tison Memorial Park
This marker is visible on the left.
stores and a movie house all owned by Chinese settlers. The Southern Pacific Wharf and warehouse was built in three stages, the first in 1906. It grew to over 800 feet in length. During the harvest season a half dozen or more fruit packers used to rent space in the warehouse. The rail spur served the warehouse and connected with the Walnut Grove Branch line. The warehouse operated two freight elevators which raised produce from the decks of the riverboats. The warehouse is now used to store and launch pleasure boats and is located approximately a quarter mile north of this site.
 
Erected by The Rotary Club of Walnut Grove.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
 
Location. 38° 14.841′ N, 121° 30.58′ W. Marker is in Walnut Grove, California, in Sacramento County. Marker is at the intersection of River Road (County Road E13) and Levee Road, on the right when traveling north on River Road. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 13993 River Road (County Road E13), Walnut Grove CA 95690, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Delta Transmission Towers/Delta Cross Channel Gates (here, next to this marker); Charles “Chuck” Tison
Kiosk at the Chuck Tison Memorial Park image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, October 30, 2010
3. Kiosk at the Chuck Tison Memorial Park
(here, next to this marker); Locke Memorial Park (approx. ¼ mile away); Sacramento River Exploration (approx. 0.4 miles away); 66 Main Street (approx. 7.8 miles away); Bing Kong Tong Society Building (approx. 7.9 miles away); Isleton’s Historic Old Town (approx. 8 miles away); Hotel Del Rio and Casino (approx. 8.1 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Walnut Grove.
 
More about this marker. The marker, along with the Delta Transmission Towers/Delta Cross Channel Gates marker, a Rotary of Walnut Grove Sponsorship marker, and the Charles “Chuck” Tison marker, share a kiosk located at the Chuck Tison Memorial Park.
 
Regarding Walnut Grove, Est. 1850/Locke, Est. 1915. The Locke Historical District has been designated as a National Historical Landmark.
Statement of Significance (as of designation - December 14, 1990):
Founded in 1915, Locke is the largest and most intact surviving example of an historic rural Chinese-American community in the United States, including more than 50 commercial
Looking North on Main Street - Locke, California image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, April 23, 2009
4. Looking North on Main Street - Locke, California
and residential frame buildings and covering approximately 14 acres along the east bank of the Sacramento River, south of the city of Sacramento. Locke is the only such community remaining in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, which was a particularly important area of rural Chinese settlement.

Locke Historical District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 6, 1971.
 
Also see . . .
1. Walking Tour of Walnut Grove. Walnut Grove, one of the older Delta river towns, was settled in 1850 by John Sharp. Sharp journeyed west from Ohio with his young family and chose the site of Walnut Grove because of the abundant walnut and oak forests in the area. (Submitted on October 31, 2010.) 

2. Walking Tour of Locke. Can Tin-san is commonly credited as the earliest resident of Locke. He was the first Chinese to construct a building on the Locke brothers' property, where he realized the business potential of the Southern Pacific Wharf and Warehouse. (Submitted on October 31, 2010.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceSettlements & Settlers
 
Looking South on Main Street - Locke, California image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, April 23, 2009
5. Looking South on Main Street - Locke, California
The Star Theater - Locke, California image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, April 23, 2009
6. The Star Theater - Locke, California
Served as a Chinese opera house, gambling den, and a brothel.
Locke Boarding House image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, April 23, 2009
7. Locke Boarding House
This building has been designated as a California State Park and is used as a Visitor Center and an exhibit and research facility.
Walnut Grove Bridge - view from south image. Click for full size.
November 25, 2010
8. Walnut Grove Bridge - view from south
This bridge, built in 1952, replaced the earlier historic 1916 bridge, which was the first cantilevered counter-weight bascule drawbridge constructed west of the Mississippi River.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 778 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   8. submitted on . This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Photos of town of Walnut Grove. • Can you help?
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