Chinese Heritage Tour of the American West

Exploring the uncovered heritage of early Chinese American pioneers over a seven-day tour

Browsing Posts in July 21 trip notes

Tour participants might not have noticed it on Day 1 of the Chinese Heritage Tour of the American West. But food and water magically appeared at different intervals as the bus rolled down the highway.

Think sandwiches, cookies, Vitamin C candy, Chinese candy, chips, chocolate mints, fruit gummies, crackers, bottled water, peanuts and granola bars (different kinds). In fact, you might have forgotten that some of these munchies existed had you not sat down on the tour bus.

So what do these supplies look like?

continue reading…

After panning for gold and touring a Dredge in Sumpter Valley, we ended Wednesday in Baker City, Ore.

We toured the Geiser Grand Hotel, where proprietor Barbara Sidway and local historian Gary Dielman talked about this city’s place in Western history and the many immigrants who arrived during the 19th century to find what everyone always wants – gold.

continue reading…

One of the best things about this year’s Chinese Heritage Tour of the American West - at least for me – is the number of interesting participants you can talk with at almost any moment.

Case in point: My afternoon chat with Tony Chinn, a 63-year-old resident of Seattle. In China, his relatives came from the Toisan, or Taishan, region of Guangdong province.

With the heat hovering in the 80s and 90s on Wednesday, some tour participants sought shade at the Sumpter Valley Dredge State Heritage Area in Oregon.

continue reading…

I forgot exactly how Stan Lou brought up the topic on Wednesday morning of keeping a journal to record his thoughts and observations of the 2010 Chinese Heritage Tour of the American West.

I think he knew I was keeping notes and taking pictures for this trip blog.

He mentioned that he recorded his impressions of the first day of travel – when the approximately 40 of us boarded a bus named “America” and headed east from Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum in search of places that Chinese American pioneers once lived and worked.

continue reading…

In addition to operating this Chinese Heritage Tour blog, we’re fortunate enough to have a group of astute Chinese American youths join us to let the world know their insights about this journey through the West on Twitter.

Their short Tweets are humorous, thoughtful and to the point. So, please have a look at their Tweets, if you haven’t done so already. You’ll also find a link to Twitter in the upper right hand corner of this blog.

From left to right, the youths are: Helen, Qingci, MingFeng and King. Zhen is standing behind them. Oh, yes. They’re also helping load and unload luggage on the bus.

continue reading…

The weather is heating up here in John Day, Ore. on Day 3 of the Chinese Heritage Tour of the American West.

But stories about Chinese American history - in the form of herbal medicine bottles, steamship line calendars and an altar among other items - are filtering through the air – at least for one group. Tour participants from the Wing Luke Museum and USDA Forest Service trip visited the green-and-red Kam Wah Chung & Co. building.

They peered at what was around them. They snapped digital photographs. They listened as the docent gave an overview and details about the life of two Chinese pioneers in the American West.

continue reading…