Monday, November 13, 2017

1910 Census Shows Georgiana Township Was Incredible Mix of Cultures!

I have pondered for several years now, trying to figure out how many people fled to Locke after the Walnut Grove fire in 1915. No one has given a set number of people, but over the years there have been outrageous claims that there were hundreds of displaced Chinese that moved to Locke after the fire. This simply isn't possible, and I will explain why.

First, you have to go back as far as you can with primary sources, and then comb over those sources to give yourself an idea of how things were there, back then. Guessing is not an option, and speculating isn't any better. No, the only way we can have an accurate estimate is by doing the actual math and then we can form our opinions.

Before we get to that, let me tell you something, the Delta region in Sacramento is one of the most beautiful areas in California (In my humble opinion). There was also a huge need for workers in the area, whether it was building levee's, working on farms, in factories or on the railroad lines. It is no wonder then why so many people from all over the world flocked to this one particular little place known as the Georgiana Township.

The Georgiana Township was established on August 14, 1854. Prior to that, the area was considered within the boundaries of the Sutter Township. It consists of the Sacramento Islands, including the "southern portion of Sutter Island, almost all of Grand Island, all of Andrus, Tyler, Twitchell, Brannan, Sherman and Wood islands. There are about 110 miles of levee in the township." -- An Illustrated History of Sacramento County, Winfield J. Davis.

So the areas of Courtland, Walnut Grove, Isleton, Grand Island, Ryde and the area we know today as Locke, were considered to be within the Georgiana Township. In fact, the Georgiana Township goes all the way up to the southern part of the Franklin Township, which is pretty far north east.This is very important to remember, because by counting all the people listed on the 1910 census for this township, you get an idea of just how diverse this area along the Delta was.

According to Census records of 1910, there were:

338 Caucasians living in the Georgiana Township of those 338; 127 consisted of European immigrants. The rest of the 211 were American Citizens of all states within the U.S. (Caucasian). The European immigrants consisted of: 53 Portuguese, 22 Italians, 9 Germans, 5 Danes, 5 Dutch, 10 English, 14 Swedish, 1 Irish, 1 Welsh, 1 Polish, 1 Yiddish, 2 Russian, 2 Norwegian, 1 Scottish, and 1 Spanish.

There were also 337 Chinese living in the township as well as 335 Japanese, too. The other residents consisted of: 20 - East Indian (Hindu), 1- Puerto Rican, and 1-Mexican.

This information, especially in regards to the population of Chinese in this area, is vital to give us an idea of how many people might have moved to Locke after the Walnut Grove fire in 1915. Now remember, this amount of people is not the people in Walnut Grove, but is a total of all the people within the entire township that covered many hundreds of square miles, so that covers an even larger area in the region.

So now you have an idea of how many people lived in the Delta area of the Georgiana Township just before the fire in Walnut Grove that displaced many Chinese and Japanese. And now we know that there were not hundreds of people who came to Locke, but perhaps only a fraction of that amount. We also see how diverse the area was at the time, with people from all over the country and all over the world, all working near one another in such a beautiful region.

As time goes on I will be posting even more documentation I have found in my research on Locke's history to provide the public with real facts, and real history.

(Copyright 2017 - J'aime Rubio

United States Census, California, Sacramento, Georgiana Township, 1910.
Illustrated History of Sacramento County, Winfield J. Davis.

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