Chinese Heritage Tour of the American West

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

Browsing Posts tagged Chinese walls gold mining

The Chinese gold miners who worked the land north of Granite, Ore. starting in the 1860s left traces of their work and existence - shards from bowls, glass medicine bottles and items with Chinese characters.

When the members of the Chinese Heritage Tour visited the Ah Hee Diggings on Thursday, several used their Chinese reading skills and understanding of Chinese American history to help interpret and better understand artificats collected by the USDA Forest Service.

Those members included Ron Chew, a Seattle resident and former Wing Luke Museum executive director, and Dorothy Ng, a Wing Luke staff member and coordinator for the Heritage Tour.

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Our bus snaked up the mountains of Eastern Oregon on Thursday and arrived at our destination around noon - an unmarked rocky site in the Whitman National Forest about a mile north of Granite.

Members of the 2010 Chinese Heritage Tour exited the bus, carefully made their way across a narrow wooden bridge and gathered under a small clump of trees. That provided a bit of relief from the dry summer heat in this area about 5,000 feet above the sea.

At least by 1867, Chinese miners had arrived, too, in search of gold discovered that decade, researchers have said. Many of the miners had made their way from the Toisan, or Taishan, area of southern China.

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