Isleton was founded 1874 by Josiah Pool. After having the town platted, he constructed a wharf on the Sacramento River, and a booming town soon followed. However, Isleton was flooded in 1878 and 1881, causing Pool financial difficulties and leading him to move out. The town also flooded in 1890, 1907, and 1972. As agriculture in the surrounding area developed, three canneries opened up in Isleton and other delta towns. The cannery workforce was over 90 percent Asian.
Chinese began immigrating to Isleton around 1875, and at its peak, the Chinese section of the city had about 1,500 people and included a branch of the Bing Kong Tong. The city also had a Japantown, just east of Chinatown. The Chinese and Japanese districts are in the National Register of Historic Places. (Actor Pat Morita was born in Isleton in 1932.)
As the canneries folded, the population started to decline, although it has started to rebound since 2010. Its economy was badly hit by the recession in 2007. In 2010, Isleton attempted to raise money by permitting a marijuana farm in return for a share of the profits, but it was abandoned after warnings from the U.S. Department of Justice. In 2012, the city lost its police department.
203 2nd Street, Isleton CA
Knights Ferry Photo Tour
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