Walnut Grove, Est 1850Walnut 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. 1915The 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 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.