Saturday, June 04, 2011

Carspotting: 1983 Lincoln Continental in Locke, California

After visiting the rail museum, we stopped by the town of Locke.  After the Chinese portion of nearby Walnut Grove burned down in 1915, the Chinese (levee and farm workers) decided to build Locke.  It is the first and only all-Chinese town in America.  At its peak, there were 600 residents.  Now, less than a dozen Chinese-Americans live there.

The main drag is short but chock full of charm.  All the buildings can best be described as "contractor's specials".  The wooden floors are all either sagging in the middle or tilted to the side.  When we were eating at the Chinese restaurant around the corner, when I poured soy sauce on my plate, the liquid nearly slid off my plate due to the uneven floor.  (By the way, Locke Garden is run by a nice family and has some of the best Americanized Chinese food anywhere.  The ingredients were fresh, cooked to order (so there is a bit of a wait but it's worth it), and not corn starch heavy.  We had the pot stickers, an unusual but superior hot and sour soup, and ma-po tofu.)

Almost all the buildings are accessible to the public.  This is the school house.  Can you tell which China the denizens gave their allegiance to?

Al the WOP's was the only non-Chinese owned business.  WOP was a derogatory name for Italian immigrants.  It's short for "WithOut Papers".  There were a bunch of rowdy bikers drinking inside.  Otherwise, the town was whisper quiet.

This Continental was parked across the street from the bar.

Through the Opera Glass.

The dusty gambling hall was also open to the public.


Anonymous said...

great photos of Locke. Do you think I can use some of the photos for the official Locke website? I'm volunteering to help redo their website and they desperately need better documentation. I would of course credit all photos used. Angie Eng

Maxichamp said...

@Anon: No problem. Use them all! Happy to help.

windup said...

Thanks, Should I credit 'Tamerlane'?? Angie

Maxichamp said...

@windup: Sure!