National Register of Historic Places in Sacramento County, California

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National Register #90000483
Japanese-American Historic District
Bounded by River Road, Winnie, Tyler, and C Streets
Walnut Grove

Walnut Grove was the center of social and economic life for many Japanese seasonal agricultural workers in the rural Delta area from 1896 to the relocation of Japanese during World War II.

The first business, an udan-ya (noodle shop), marked the beginning of a rapidly growing Japanese community which augmented the Chinese agricultural work force in the Delta. By 1900, at least seven businesses were operated by Japanese, including boarding houses, stores, a bathhouse and a barbershop. By 1910, the Japanese also operated hotels, restaurants, dry goods stores, drug stores, mercantile stores and grocery stores.

An influx of picture brides into Walnut Grove during the 1910s resulted in the establishment of a Japanese language school and a Methodist Church. The Japanese community was thriving in 1915, with forty-nine businesses entered in the local assessment records, including a shoe shop, fruit stores, fish and meat markets, and numerous boarding houses or hotels. [Webmaster note: the nomination form refers to an influx of "picture bridges," but I think it should read "picture brides."]

In 1915, a fire destroyed more than eighty buildings in a three-block-square area. Nothing remained of the Asian neighborhood.

Before the fire, the Japanese occupied the northern section of the existing Chinatown. The fire afforded them the opportunity to physically separate themselves from the Chinese. The Japanese rented land from Alex Brown, a local businessman who owned most of Walnut Grove, and built their own nihonmachi one block north of its previous location.

Lots were randomly numbered and the numbers were drawn out of a hat by each family to determine business and residence locations. Japanese builders and carpenters from San Francisco, Stockton and Sacramento volunteered labor and expertise to design and construct these buildings.

Adapted from the NRHP nomination submitted in 1990.


Name Year Address Remarks Sort Address Sort Name
Fuji Garage1921River Road and Central AvenueRiverFuji Garage
Methodist Mission1934Central Avenue and Winnie LaneCentralMethodist Mission
Japanese Language School1910Winnie LaneWinnieJapanese Language School
Medical Office and Dwelling19161263 A Street Street A 1263Medical Office and Dwelling
Hatanake Tofu House19151259 A Street Street A 1259Hatanake Tofu House
Soft Drink Establishment19151255 A Street Street A 1255Soft Drink Establishment
Medical Office and Dwelling19151251 A Street Street A 1251Medical Office and Dwelling
Garage191614105 River roadRiver 14105Garage
Alex Brown's Building191514112 Market StreetMarket 14112Alex Brown's Building
Barbershop and Bath House19161258 A Street Street A 1258Barbershop and Bath House
Hotel19201278 A Street Street A 1278Hotel
Store19151281 B Street Street B 1281Store
Rooming House and Restaurant19161273 B Street Street B 1273Rooming House and Restaurant
Billiard Hall and Rooms19161269 B Street Street B 1269Billiard Hall and Rooms
Hotel19161265 B Street Street B 1265Hotel
Restaurant19161261 B Street Street B 1261Restaurant
Boarding House19161257 B Street Street B 1257Boarding House
Barber Shop191514121 Market StreetMarket 14121Barber Shop
Restaurant191814126 Market StreetBuilding moved to this site after 1918.Market 14126Restaurant
Store191514128 Market StreetBuilding predate 1915 moved to this site after 1918.Market 14128Store
Pumphouse191814130 Market StreetOnce housed the storage tanks for Walnut Grove's water system.Market 14130Pumphouse
Bathhouse19161250 B Street Street B 1250Bathhouse
Chop Suey House and Restaurant19161260 B Street Street B 1260Chop Suey House and Restaurant
Boarding House19161264 B Street Street B 1264Boarding House
Barbershop and Pool Hall19161268 B Street Street B 1268Barbershop and Pool Hall
Restaurant and Hotel19161272 B Street Street B 1272Restaurant and Hotel
Drug Store and Rooming House19161276 B Street Street B 1276Drug Store and Rooming House
Hotel and Café19161280 B Street Street B 1280Hotel and Café
Oda Residence191614080 Winnie LaneWinnie 14080Oda Residence
Mizutani Residence191614070 Winnie LaneWinnie 14070Mizutani Residence
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