----Here, hidden among the sloughs and backwaters of the Delta, are the focal points of human interest. If the streams and sloughs are the arteries that supply water to the fields and carry commerce to the city, then these towns are the throbbing heart of the Delta.
-----There are fascinating towns and cities sprinkled throughout the Delta. Many have a history that extends back to the Gold Rush. Old timers can point out where the steamboat dock was, and give you the names of his favorite boats. They tell of the great floods, the backbreaking effort of levee building, the days when canneries dominated the waterfront, the time the Big Fire swept through Downtown.
-----We sold our house eighteen years ago. Our home 'address' through these years is a Nevada ghost town, with 27 'ghosts' (25, most of the time, since we're usually on the water). As nomads, we appreciate more than most, the importance of place. Here, in the Delta, roots sink deep into the peaty mud. Each town, big or small, has its history, its stories, its importance. We enjoyed walking the streets and getting to know a little of Old Sacramento, Locke, Walnut Grove, Terminous, Discovery Bay, and Rio Vista - and so will you. Here's a sampling of the variety in the Delta:
Ryde Hotel - Good eats in a small town
Rio Vista - Halcyon at home at Delta Marina
-----Terminous - a ghost town, once the major shipping point for Delta produce on the Western Pacific. Packing sheds lined the shore and workers lived in a 'boxcar' village behind the levee. Two ferries crossed the slough. Today, Tower Park Marina occupies many of the sheds.
Walnut Grove - Old Chinese and Japanese Sections
-----One town deserves special mention. It is the only town still existing in the US designed, built, and occupied solely by Chinese. Chinese workers built the transcontinental railroad, and with its completion in 1868, many were employed to build the early levees in the Delta. Many settled permanently in the area.
-----Virtually every Delta town had a 'Chinatown.' Tragedy struck Walnut Grove's Chinatown when fire swept the wooden structures in 1915. Undaunted, the burned-out Chinese decided to build their own town nearby. They did and it was inhabited solely by Chinese. Locke had a population of 1,600 in its heyday. The town became the entertainment center of the region, with speakeasies, opium dens, and gambling parlors. Residents, however,said it was the only town where they felt safe walking the streets at night. Today, the entire downtown is on the National Register of Historic Places as the last rural Chinese town in America.
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