one laundry. Reference: Sanborn Insurance Map 1912.
maintains exhibits of Chinese artifacts.
made of stones, was part of the Lancha Plana Chinatown, located between Main Street and the
Mokelumne River. When Chinese miners discovered gold beneath its foundation, they made an
agreement with the building owner to relocate it six miles north to Buena Vista. Carrying the
stones one at a time, the miners rebuilt it between Buena Vista Road and the road from
Camanche Lake to Lake Amador near the town of lone. See Lanca Plana Chinatown, Amador
County. Reference: Office of Historic Preservation 1979a.
of Butte City and its large Chinatown. The building was constructed by Chinese and features
stones and iron shutters from China. It is California Historical Landmark No. 39. Reference:
Street, community of Fiddletown, using the rammed earth technique that dates to 1500 B.C. in
China. The technique involves packing mud between wooden forms until it becomes as hard as
stone. Being prone to dissolve in the rain, the exterior walls are usually covered with wood, as
was done with the Chew Kee Store. The store was the home of Fong Chow You (Jimmy Chow),
the last descendant of the original Chinese of Fiddletown. He died in 1965 and is buried nearby.
Presently the structure is a museum. See Fiddletown Chinatown, Amador County. Reference:
the cemetery was the site for the interment of deceased Chinese. Presently, the site is occupied
by city-owned buildings. See Jackson Chinatown, Amador County. Reference: Office of Historic
York Ranch Road in the City of Jackson. It was the approach to China Graveyard. See China
Graveyard, Amador County. Reference: Compass Maps 1997.
created. The reservoir itself was originally a large open pit mine. See Little China Gulch,
Amador County. Reference: United States Geological Survey 1962c.
to south just north of Butte City.It is about three miles northwest of Mokelumne Hill. See China
Gulch Hill, Amador County. Reference: United States Geological Survey 1949d.
Its yield was moderate and soon abandoned. Reference: Gudde and Gudde 1975: 71.
gold mining area, the road is west of Hanford Street off Amador Trail. Reference: Compass Maps 1997.
China Street, Amador County.
China Street in the community of Drytown parallels Main Street and connects Highway 49 and
Main Street. China Street formed the center of Drytown Chinatown. See Drytown Chinatown,
Amador County. Reference: Compass Maps 1997.
Chinese Adobe Building, Amador County.
Built in 1850 on West Main Street in the community of Fiddletown, the large structure (24 x 27
feet) is made of adobe bricks. Of note is its compacted earth ceiling. It is one of the last buildings
of Fiddletown Chinatown. See Fiddletown Chinatown, Amador County. Reference: Office of
Historic Preservation 1978a.
Chinese Brick Store, Amador County.
Built in 1850 at West Main Street in Fiddletown, Chinese Brick Store is a two story brick-
covered, stone-walled store. The walls consists of schist-mud lime mortar. It is one of the few
remaining structures of Fiddletown Chinatown. See Fiddletown Chinatown, Amador County.
Reference: Office of Historic Preservation 1978b.
Chinese Gambling House, Amador County.
Chinese Gambling House on West Main Street in Fiddletown dates to 1855. Its longevity may
be attributed to its brick and stone construction=resistance to fire was an important consideration
in the early days. See Fiddletown Chinatown, Amador County. Reference: Nadeau 1992: 83.
Drytown Chinatown, Amador County.
Drytown Chinatown, centered around China Street, was in the community of Drytown. It was
a booming place that lasted as long as the gold in the nearby area. See China Street, Amador
County. Reference: Zorbas 1997: 95.
Fiddletown Chinatown, Amador County.
Fiddletown Chinatown covered most of the southwest portion of Fiddletown with West Main
Street as its center. By 1880, about 45 percent of Fiddletown's population was Chinese with one-
half working as miners. Presently, there are four buildings associated with the Chinese. The state
has identified all of the structures as historically significant. The two that are well preserved and
restored are the Chew Kee Herb Store and Chinese Gambling House. The other two, known
simply as the Chinese brick store and Chinese adobe building, are to be renovated. See Chew
Kee Herb Store, Amador County; Chinese Adobe Building, Amador County; Chinese Brick
Store, Amador County; Chinese Gambling House. Reference: Nadeau 1992: 83; Zorbas 1997:
Fiddletown Chinese Cemetery, Amador County.
Fiddletown Chinese Cemetery was located on the edge of Fiddletown. It was abandoned in 1917
when the last occupant was disinterred. See Fiddletown Chinatown, Amador County. Reference:Zorbas 1997: 30, 101. Maps 1997.
1860. See Buena Vista Store, Amador County. Reference: Office of Historic Preservation 1979b.
Camanche Reservoir filled with water, Little China Gulch flooded about one-quarter mile up the
valley, while China Gulch was completely inundated. See China Gulch, Amador County.
Reference: United States Geological Survey 1962c.
See Plymouth Chinatown, Amador County.
1854. See Volcano Chinatown, Amador County.
Volcano was one of the first placer gold sites in Amador County with the initial discovery
occurring in 1849. Once the placer deposits were exhausted, tunnel and shaft mining became
important. By 1855, the area was characterized by its hydraulic mining. Reference: Nadeau 1992:
thought to have worked the placer gold deposit. Reference: Dunn 1977: 2; Gudde and Gudde
fences usually enclose foothill grazing land although they could have other purposes. Building
of a fence involved laborers carrying stones in baskets attached to wooden yokes slung their
separate them from the non-Chinese of the town. The rock fences are now protected by county
statutes. See Bok Kai Chinese Wall Memorial, Yuba County; Great Wall of China, Mariposa
spelled as two words. Centerville was once known as Diamondville. This is of note because
Diamondville laws of 1875 stated that no Chinese could mine on Butte Creek above the head of
the Diamondville Ditch or hold claims above that point. Reference: Dunn 1977: 23.
the City of Chico. It resulted from the crowded conditions in Chico Old Chinatown. Chico New
Chinatown had three laundries, a school, joss house and shirt factory by 1884. The new
settlement was particularly notable because of the attempts to destroy it. A widespread economic
depression caused many non-Chinese to believe that the Chinese were taking jobs away from
them. Anti-Chinese activities increased to the point of two separate arson attempts, the killing
of four Chinese and the wounding of two others. Twelve non-Chinese were arrested with four
being sentenced to prison for their role in the disturbances. All evidence of Chico New
Chinatown was gone by 1974. See Chico Old Chinatown, Butte County. Reference: Pricer 1996:
31,37-38; McGowan 1961: 325-326; Sanborn Insurance Map 1884a.
Street in the City of Chico by about 1865. The structures of Chico Old Chinatown were built
literally touching one another. This meant that there was no room for connecting stairs or
hallways. As a result, the buildings were connected through their basements by portals. Initially the portals or tunnels were not used as living space, merely passage ways. A continued increase
quarters. Some overcrowding was alleviated by the development of Chico New Chinatown. See
Chico New Chinatown, Butte County. Reference: Pricer 1996: 30-31
Reference: Dunn 1977: 23; United States Geological Survey 1970.
Company flume. The tender would make sure that the logs were moving properly as well as
make repairs to the flume. Reference: Dunn 1977: 23.
being the one who had it built. The structure is six to seven miles in length and runs along the
northeast bank of the Feather River. Of stone masonry construction, in places it is 20 feet high
with a base of 20 feet. The top is from six to eight feet in width. The wall was used to divert the
flow of the Feather River so gold could be dredged from its bed. Unknown to McLaughlin, the
miners of 1849 had already removed all the gold from the stream bed using a similar strategy.
China Wall was submerged when the Oroville Dam was build. Today, portions of the wall are
visible only when the dam's water level is very low. Reference: Talbitzer: 19, 77-79.
officially became Helltown China Town. See Helltown China Town, Butte County; Chinese
Camp, Butte County. Reference: Gudde and Gudde 1975: 71.
This was an alternate name for Helltown China Town, Butte County. See Helltown China Town,
James Diamond. The Diamondville name dates to at least 1877. Nearby, an abandoned Chinese
cemetery is evident. See Centerville China Town, Butte County. Reference: Dunn 1977: 32.
Reference: United States Geological Survey 1980.
Oroville Chinatown, Butte County.
Feather River. In 1884, there was one laundry, one restaurant, one gambling house, five stores,
a joss house and about twenty dwellings. By 1890, it had expanded to both sides of Broderick
Street and included two more joss houses, a theater, another laundry and three more dwellings.
It continued to grow, adding more dwellings and a Chinese Masonic Hall in 1902. See Oroville
Cemetery, Butte County; Oroville Chinese Temple, Butte County. Reference: Sanborn Insurance
Map 1884b, 1890b, 1902a.
south of Oro Dam Boulevard in the City of Oroville. It is surrounded on three sides by gravel
tailings from nearby mining. As was common in the early days, the cemetery was for temporary
interment only. Accordingly, only a few Chinese remain interred today. Each grave was
originally covered by a slab of white granite and outlined with red bricks bearing Chinese
writing. A second cemetery across the street acted as a holding area when the main one was at
capacity. Reference: Office of Historic Preservation 1976: 192; Pricer 1996: 47-48.
located on the bank of the Feather River in the City of Oroville. Built in 1863, it consisted of a
temple, a storehouse and a theater. Additional temples and buildings were added through the
years until a flood in 1907 caused considerable damage. The property was given to the city in
1937 and opened to the public in 1949 after restoration work by community members. Today,
one finds the main temple (built for Taoists in 1863), the Moon Temple (constructed for
Buddhists in 1868) and the Chan Room for Confucians (built in 1874). Newer facilities include
a display hall, memorial pavilion, garden courtyard and reconstructed living quarters of a
Chinese miner, circa the 1800's. The temple complex is California Historical Landmark No. 770
and is on the National Register of Historic Places. See Oroville Chinatown, Butte County.
Reference: "Chinese Temple..."; "Guide ..."; Office of Historic Preservation 1976.
farming, it provided produce to the nearby city. The garden was owned communally by as many
as 40-60 Chinese who leased the land. It continued into the early 1900's. Reference: Pricey 1996:
merchandise store providing goods to the Chinese laborers and miners of the Marysville-La Porte
area in the 1890's. Reference: Pricey 1996: 51.
mile south of China Mountain. It is 8,200 feet above sea level. Reference: United States
Geological Survey 1955.
the 1880s and 1890s. It contained numerous residences and a joss house. The residents worked
West China Point, Butte County.
West China Point is located about one and one-half miles from Stirling City. The Point is actually a ridge that extends in a southwest manner for about one mile. Reference: United States Geological Survey 1979c.
artifacts on display.
near the mountain and creek, the site's feng shui makes for a proper burial place. See China
Mountain, EI Dorado County. Reference: United States Geological Survey 1949c.
and the Chinese. Yet, a closer look shows it was originally known as Marshall, being named after
James W. Marshall in 1849. The name was changed in 1850 to Uniontown in honor of California
becoming a part of the United States. To avoid confusion with a community in Humboldt County
that had earlier been named Unionville, the United States Postal Service changed the town's
name to Lotus. Reference: Hoover 1990: 82.
Combellak Road and Baker Road. There has been gold mining throughout the area. Reference:
of Coloma Chinatown. The structure is made of local rock with adobe mortar. The store
specialized in herbs and dry goods while acting as a message center and post office. Now
restored, the building was reopened to the public in 1958 and is part of the Marshall Gold
Discovery State Historic Park. See Coloma Chinatown, EI Dorado County; Wan Lee Store, EI
Dorado County. Reference: Office of Historic Preservation 1979d; Website 1999.
Located near Wah Hop Store on Main Street, the store sold general merchandise. It began in
1860 when Wan Lee entered into a lease agreement with the building's owner. Today, the store
houses an exhibit of gold mining techniques and is part of Marshall Gold Discovery State
Historic Park. See Coloma Chinatown, EI Dorado County; Wah Hop Store, El Dorado County.
Reference: Lew 1977: 11.
the 1870's. Most were railroad laborers. Borden Chinatown started to decline when a great
number of Chinese left to build a flume near the town of Madera. By the mid-twentieth century,
only a few Chinese remained, mostly of Fayuan origin. See Madera Chinatown, Madera County.
Reference: Bulletin 1992: 2.
farmer. This section of the flume was used to move partially-milled timber from the Madera-
Sugar Pine sawmill to Salt Springs, the first stop on the trip to the town of Madera. The sawmill
started in 1900 and employed many Chinese workers until 1918, when most of them were
replaced by laborers from other ethnic groups. See Sugar Pine Chinatown, Madera County.
Reference: Johnston 1968: 35.
Fresno River. It is in the Southern Mines Region. Chinese miners moved from the Northern
Mines Region southward as the gold disappeared. The first strikes were in places such as
Oakhurst, Coarse Gold Creek, Grub Gulch and Fine Gold Creek. In fact, the Chinese were
panning for gold at Coarse Gold in 1854. The lesser amounts of gold in the southern portion
caused a continual movement southward into the Kern River/Tehachapi area. Reference:
of Bass Lake in the Sierra National Forest. There is evidence of mining and timber cutting in the
area. Reference: United States Geological Survey 1990a.
at Crane Valley Road. China Creek Road crosses China Creek in its southerly portion. See (1) China
Creek, Madera County. Reference: Compass Maps 1994.
northeast of Madera Lake. The good river-deposited soil, supply of fresh water, an unimproved
dirt road that circles the area and the placename suggests that the area may well have been a
vegetable garden operated by Chinese. Reference: United States Geological Survey 1962b.
China Garden. See China Garden, Madera County. Reference: United States Geological Survey
to move timber from the Sugar Pine mill and was a favorite site for flume rides. When
the flume was not being used to move timber, people traveled down it in a flume boat, often
reaching speeds of 50 miles per hour. Reference: Johnston 1968: 37, 53; United States
Geological Survey 1990b.
Sun, the adobe structure was expanded by the addition of more rooms and a blacksmith shop.
Ah Sun and the store served the needs of the Chinese, Native Americans and Anglo settlers in
the gold fields of the Southern Mines. Reference: Langenwalter 1980: 103.
from Borden Chinatown. The move was prompted by the need for laborers for the construction
of a flume that was 54 miles long. The flume was used to bring logs down from the Sierras. See Chew
Grade, Madera County; China Wells, Madera County; Sugar Pine Chinatown, Madera County.
Reference: Bulletin 1992: 2.
Survey. He worked for the Survey from 1888 until 1918 when he was killed in an accident in the
field. The peak extends 10,522 feet above sea level and is part of the boundary between
Yosemite National Park and the Sierra National Forest. Reference: Browning 1986: 20l.
community was located on the creek near where it flows into the Fresno River, about five miles
west of Coarse Gold. Like the gold, Spangle Gold Creek Chinatown has long since disappeared.
Reference: Theodoratus 1984: 278.
owned and operated by the Madera Sugar Pine Company. Hundreds of workers lived in the larger
town with the Chinese establishing a living area next to it. The Chinatown was in existence from
the late 1800's to 1933 when the company closed the entire operation because of the Great
Depression. Reference: Theodoratus 1984: 303-304.
presence in the Gold Country. A plaque placed by Matuca Chapter 1849 ofE. Clampus Vitus in
1985 states, "First caIIed Johnsonville, Bear Valley had a large population that included Chinese,
Cornish and Mexicans. During 1850-60 when Col. John C. Fremont's Ride Tree and Josephine
Mines were producing, Fremont's elegant hotel, Oso House, was built with lumber brought
around the Horn. It no longer stands. After fire in 1888, structures were rebuilt. Some still
standing are Bon Ton Saloon, Trabucco Store, Odd Fellows Hall, schoolhouse, and remains of
the jail. All reminders of Bear Valley's colorful past." Bear Valley is California Historic
Landmark No. 331. Reference: Johnson 1995: 14.
inlet in the Sierra National Forest. Located a little south of the Mother Lode, the area saw limited
prospecting and mining. Still, a map dated 1887 depicts a mine in the area. It is thought that the
placename memorializes a Chinese who was deliberately killed while crossing the pool. His boat
was capsized with the intent of stealing his claim. Reference: Popelish 1995.
It is two miles south-southeast of the Groverland Ranger Station on Big Oak Flat Road in the
Stanislaus National Forest Stanislaus National Forest. Reference: United States Geological Survey 1949b.
mile long seasonal stream that joins Agua Fria Creek. Evidence of mining (shafts, tailings) and
kilns are found throughout the area. Reference: United States Geological Survey 1962a.
Street. It was the primary street of Coulterville Chinatown. See Coulterville Chinatown,
Mariposa County; Kow Street, Mariposa County. Reference: Compass Maps 1994.
is about one-half mile southeast of Dogtown Road. There has been considerable mining activity
in the area. Reference: United States Geological Survey 1987.
Coulterville Chinatown. Established around 1860, a large part of it was destroyed when a sewer
ditch was dug through the area. Ching Cemetery is sometime referred to simply as Chinese
Cemetery. See Coulterville Chinatown, Mariposa County. Reference: Office of Historic
presently bounded by Main Street, Kow Street and Highway 120. Dating to the early 1850's, the
Chinese who lived there comprised 20 percent of the total population (1,000 Chinese out of
5,000 non-Chinese). See Kow Street, Mariposa County; Sun Family House, Mariposa County;
Sun Sun Wo General Store, Mariposa County. Reference: Nadeau 1992: 129.
feet wide. The dry stack wall enclosed 640 acres of the Quick Ranch. It is the most completely documented of the Chinese-built stone fences in the state. This results from the ranch being in the same family, the Quick family, since its beginning in 1859. Records maintained by the family show the hiring of a Chinese foreman and Chinese workers for the construction of the fence. The workers received 25 cents per day for one and one-half rods (24 3/4 feet) of fence. The foreman received $1.75 for every rod (16 1/2 feet). Total cost of the fence was $6,000. See Bok Kai Chinese Wall Memorial, Yuba County; Great Wall of China, Butte County; Butte County Rock Fences, Butte County. Reference: Wey 1988: 133-134.
the plaza and dates to 1852. Like others, Hornitos Chinatown consisted of wooden buildings.
They burned by accident and not rebuilt. Reference: Williams 1971: 41, 47.
local Chinese businessman. The street forms the northeast border of Coulterville Chinatown. See
Coulterville Chinatown, Mariposa County; Sun Family House, Mariposa County. Reference:
Mormon Bar. There, a plaque states, "Mormon Bar was first mined in 1849 by members of the
Mormon Battalion. They, however, stayed only a short time and their places were taken at once
by other miners. Later, thousands of Chinese worked the same ground over again." It is
California Historical Landmark No. 323. Reference: Office of Historic Preservation, 1990: 109.
Jerimaha and May Hodgdon. Constructed in 1889, the house was built by Ah Hoy and a Mr.
Babcock. The building displays construction practices used in China in the 1800's. Ah Hoy
worked for the Hodgdon family from the 1870's to the 1890's. Reference: Born 1995.
Coulterville Chinatown in the community of Coulterville. One of the last three buildings in
Coulterville Chinatown, it was the residence of Sun Kow, the last owner of the Sun Sun Wo
General Store. See Coulterville Chinatown, Mariposa County; Kow Street, Mariposa County;
Sun Sun Wo General Store, Mariposa County. Reference: Office of Historic Preservation 1982b.
A detailed marker placed by the Donner Summit Historical Society. (Marker Number 30.) on Donner Pass Road, Town of Truckee, states, "They were a great army laying siege to Nature in her strongest citadel." -- Beyond the Mississippi, 1869. They worked sunrise to sunset, six days a week, 52 weeks a year. Had it not been for the Chinese workers brought from China, the Central Pacific Railroad would not have been built. More than 8,000 Chinese workers toiled for years to build the railroad from Sacramento to Utah. They endured avalanches, blasting accidents, rock slides, blizzards, icy cold, exhaustion, and prejudice. Ironically, it was first thought Chinese workers would not be acceptable. Leland Stanford supposedly said though, "They built the Great Wall" didn't they? In the American West, they built a great railroad. There were Chinese camps all along the rail route and artifacts can still be found. Of course the railroad is the biggest monument but here, China Wall is a great example of their work. The Sierra are rugged and to lay a rail route with a maximum 3% grade is difficult. Fifteen tunnels had to be blasted through solid granite at inches of progress a day. High spots had to be cut, trestles and bridges to span rivers had to be built, and low spots had to be filled in. China Wall is one such low spot, filled with rubble from the tunnel nearby. Today it would be easy: a few bulldozers could fill it in hours. The Chinese moved the rock and dirt and the filling was done by hand. "I wish to call to your minds that the early completion of this railroad we have built has been in large measure due to that poor, despised class of laborers called the Chinese, to the fidelity and industry they have shown." Judge E.B. Crocker."
China Wall of the Sierra, Nevada County.
A plaque on Donner Pass Road, Truckee, Nevada County, was placed by the Truckee-Donner Historical Society and the Chief Truckee Chapter No. 3691, E. Clampus Vitus. It states, "Charles Crocker, Construction Chief of the Central Pacific Railroad (CPRR), contracted for a workforce of approximately 12,000 Chinese laborers to push the CPRR tracks over its Trans-Sierra Crossing on its race east to a meet with the Union Pacific at Promontory, Utah Territory. A railroad retaining wall and fill, constructed of Sierra granite, stand silently above on the pass as a lasting monument to the Asian “Master Builders” who left an indelible mark on the history of California and the West."
Chinese Laundry Building, Nevada County.
Grass Valley Chinatown, Nevada County.
Grass Valley Chinatown in the community of Grass Valley was located between Auburn Street
and Wolf Creek, south of Bank Alley. Fire consumed Grass Valley Chinatown in the 1870's and
it was not rebuilt. Reference: McGowan 1961: 326; Sanborn Insurance Map 1891; Wells 1962:
Great Summit Tunnel of the Sierra Nevada, Nevada County.
A plaque references the Chinese workers who helped develop the 1,659 foot long tunnel at the summit (Tunnel 6). It is located along Highway 80 near the community of Norden. See Tunnel 6 Monument, Nevada County. Reference: Hendley 2014.
Nevada City Chinatown, Nevada County.
Nevada City Chinatown in Nevada City was located one block east of Main Street by 1850-1860.
When gold mining in the area ceased, the Chinese moved on. However, many Chinese artifacts
have been preserved. See Nevada City Firehouse Museum, Nevada County. Reference: Williams
Nevada City Chinese American Cemetery, Nevada County.
Nevada City Chinese American Cemetery was a burial site for Chinese in the 1890's. It still has
burners for paper money, parts of the original fence, a gate and a monument. It is thought that
the cemetery was a permanent burial site unlike others where the deceased was disinterred with
the bones being sent back to China for final interment. Reference: Wey 1988: 147.
Nevada City Firehouse Museum, Nevada County.
The museum has a substantial collection of early Chinese immigrant artifacts and a temple altar.
Reference: Lew 1984: 10.
North Bloomfield Chinatown, Nevada County.
North Bloomfield Chinatown in Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park was located one block
south of Main Street off Relief Hill Road. It was the home of between 200 and 300 Chinese
laborers and miners. They built ditches and accounted for about one-half the miners at the North
Bloomfield Gravel Mining Company. There were stores, residences, a laundry and joss house
within the Chinatown. See China Garden, Nevada County. Reference: Felton 1979: 16-17,39,
North Bloomfield Chinese Cemetery, Nevada County.
North Bloomfield Chinese Cemetery, Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park, was next to Haner-
Sherwood Diggins and close to Relief Hill Road. Originally, deceased Chinese were temporarily
buried in the North Bloomfield Cemetery. Eventually, they would be disinterred and the bones
sent to China for reburial. But expansion of the cemetery caused development of another one--for
Chinese only. As of late 1970's, one Chinese remained buried in the cemetery. Reference: Felton
1979: 162, Figure 3.