California Japantowns - Exploring the preservation of history, culture, and community...

Turlock - Cortez

The Yamato Colony of Cortez began in 1919 with 30 families purchasing 2,000 acres. By 1940, the colony expanded to 50 families and 3,000 acres, farming primarily grapes and strawberries. The community built both a Presbyterian and Buddhist church, a Japanese language school, and a farm cooperative for the packing and shipping of produce. Despite the dramatic decrease in farms since the war, several historic buildings of the churches and cooperative remain in tact.


Cortez Christian Church

12516 Cortez Ave and Sunny Acres St, Turlock

Cortez JACL

12985 N Cortez Ave, Turlock