Locke is known for being the only town in the United States built by Chinese for Chinese. In 1912, three Chinese merchants constructed three buildings – a store and saloon, a gambling hall, and a hotel and restaurant. This would become the town of Locke Port, later renamed Locke.
Over the years, hundreds of Chinese families moved to Locke and worked at the local farms and canneries. The residents created Chinese language schools and formed political, business, and cultural associations. At a time when discrimination and state laws prevented the Chinese from owning land, Locke was a burgeoning town that welcomed Chinese immigrants and thrived culturally.
Today, Locke maintains its charm and authenticity. Many of the Chinese-built buildings are still in use; they may no longer be a saloon, goods store, or bordello, but they maintain their unique character and are being preserved for future generations. In 1990, Locke was designated a National Historic Landmark. While you’re here, visit the Chinese School, explore the gambling hall at the Dai Loy Museum, enjoy a cocktail at Al the Wop’s Saloon, or pick up some literature and green tea at the Chinese Cultural Shop.
This is one town you cannot miss!
Image courtesy of Design Media.
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