02 June, 2010

A Trip Back in Time to Locke

About an hour and a half from San Francisco, on the Sacramento Delta, sits Locke. It's the last rural Chinese village in the U.S. Founded in the early years of the 20th century by Chinese farmers and laborers, it's an amazing place. It's full of distinctive architecture that evokes both the Old West and original Chinese villages of its founders. An old boarding house had been recently restored by the state and serves as a museum and visitor center. The thing I like most of all about Locke is that it's not a tourist trap; it has a refreshing authenticity without feeling like a ghost town. I suppose that has to do with its out-of-the-way location. The town is still fully populated yet it has the ambiance of a sleepy, hot, rural town of the 1930s or 40s. It has heaps of character (and quite a few characters) and is well worth a visit. On the way, be sure to stop in the other small towns like Isleton and Walnut Grove. They, too, had a strong Chinese presence which is still visible in the old stores, temples and homes that line the main streets.

No comments:

Post a Comment