On Saturday, April 27th, 35 historical interested citizens spent the day in Locke, a little Chinese community along the river near Walnut Grove. We left the museum at 9:00 am and the day started with tours of several museums, then lunch split between Al the Wops and the Chinese Garden Restaurants. Stuart, our tour guide and a resident of Locke, gave us an inside view over the years of the many facets of Locke. His stories and history information was interesting and captivating. Afterwards, there was two hours to re-visit some of the museums, check out the art galleries, and shop. We just happened to schedule our trip on a day when local resident, author, artist, and historian was giving a lecture on his his book on Locke, which has now become the definitive story of the town. Very interesting and insightful. We were back at the museum by 5:00 pm.
FYI – Al’s Place – Former Chinese restaurant, gambling house, and speakeasy during prohibition. 1n 1924, Al Adami, an Italian American restaurant owner from San Francisco’s North Beach, moved to Locke and bought the building from Lee Bing, fronting with a restaurant but operated as a speakeasy with gambling and brothels in the back. The place became known as “Al the Wops,” (WOP = With Out Papers) establishing itself as a steak house.
Chinese Garden Restaurant: