Before the Gold Rush
Native Americans lived in the Central Valley for thousands of years before the town of Stockton was built. When Europeans arrived, they found the Yatchicumne, a group of Northern Valley Yokuts people, living in the Stockton area. The Yokuts built their villages on low mounds to keep their homes above floods. A Yokuts village called Pasasimas was located on a mound between Edison and Harrison Streets on what is now the Stockton Channel in downtown Stockton.
The Europeans' arrival in Northern California forced many Native Americans into missions or exposed them to new deadly diseases. However, many Native American people still live in San Joaquin County today.