Walnut Grove: Fun facts, things to see
Walnut Grove Facts
This is by no means meant to be an entire list of local activities.
- Town established by John Wesley Sharp in the mid-1800s, named after a local grove of walnut trees (Towns of the Sacramento River Delta, Philip Pezzaglia).
- Town divided into Japanese and Chinese sections at C Street, a sign gives visitors direction.
- Walnut Grove, like Isleton and Courtland, had segregated “Oriental” schools until the beginning of World War II when the Japanese were sent to internment camps, most to Tule Lake, out of Freeport. Clarksburg did not have segregated schools.
- First Friday: A variety of businesses participate in First Friday, such as reduced-price ice cream at Mel’s Mocha.
- Mel’s Mocha serves Gunther’s ice cream. It’s a Sacramento tradition.
- Walnut Grove’s Chinese Bing Kong Tong building, 14136 River Road, owned by native Walnut Grove resident Stacy “Enos” Benson. After refurbishment it was turned into an art gallery, hosting a variety of local artists/artisans monthly, First Friday evening artist reception. www.facebook.com/pages/The-Tong/405175322844713.
- Jean Harvie School, 14273 River Road, named after local principal, ornate building built between 1924-26, it replaced a two-room schoolhouse still situated on the property. Closed in 1942 to use for “wartime” services, opened briefly after the war for primary grades.
- Take a walk through Walnut Grove, using this guide, www.walnutgrove.com/wgwalk.htm.
- Gakuen Hall, former Japanese language school: Japanese schoolchildren attended this school in addition to regular school. Built by the Japanese in 1927 in reaction to the school segregation laws (U.S. National Park Service), national historic site, 14129 Pine St.
- Across from Gakuen Hall, alleged to be one of the barracks that came from Tule Lake Internment Camp, locals confirm but no historical confirmation. It certainly looks like it could be. Japanese owner, according to Joe Enos, local real estate agent and member of a longtime Walnut Grove family.
- Visit this website for an overview of Walnut Grove’s Japantown: www.californiajapantowns.org/survey/index.php/component/mtree/sacramento-delta/walnut-grove
- Dine at Giusti’s – a local namesake, longtime family.
Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.