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 24 trip notes

The Chinese Heritage Tour of the American West – a project of the Wing Luke Museum and the USDA Forest Service – had historic moments, personal reflections about Chinese pioneers, thoughts about family histories and, well, hours and hours of life on the bus.

This post is primarily for the 35 or so people who participated in this year’s rolling history project which included visits in Washington state, Oregon, Idaho and Nevada. It’s for the public, too.

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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?

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The Chinese Heritage Tour had a bit of a bus ride Saturday from Idaho to the gold-mining area of Virginia City, Nevada – but this is the morning view participants can see from this mountainous area approximately 6,000 to 7,000 feet above the sea.

At one point in the 19th century, Virginia City had so much gold that, as the visitors center said, the precious metal was in “every hill.” Those two words drew prospectors from around the world – including China.

The group today will go on a walking tour of this town with Ron James from the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office. He will talk about the Chinese Americans who arrived centuries ago.

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