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Oroville in Butte County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Chinese Temple
 
Chinese Temple Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Syd Whittle, April 6, 2009
1. Chinese Temple Marker
 
Inscription. Dedicated in the spring of 1863, this building served as a temple of worship for 10,000 Chinese then living here. Funds for its erection and furnishings were provided by the Emperor and Empress of China and local Chinese labor built the structure. The building was deeded to the City of Oroville in 1935 by the Chinese residents.
 
Erected 1962 by The California State Park Commission in cooperation with the Oroville Woman’s Community Club, June 20, 1962. (Marker Number 770.)
 
Location. 39° 30.821′ N, 121° 33.702′ W. Marker is in Oroville, California, in Butte County. Marker is on Broderick Street, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1500 Broderick Street, Oroville CA 95965, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Oroville Carnegie Library (approx. 0.2 miles away); Oroville Municipal Airport (approx. 0.2 miles away); First Liberty Pole In The West (approx. 0.3 miles away); Butte County Court House at Oroville (approx. 0.3 miles away); First Pharmacy (approx. 0.3 miles away); Liberty Pole (approx. 0.3 miles away); Butte County Courthouse Bricks (approx. 0.3 miles away); County Community Well (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Oroville.
 
The Chinese Temple Photo, Click for full size
By Syd Whittle, April 6, 2009
2. The Chinese Temple
 

 
Regarding Chinese Temple. This site was designated as California Registered Historical Landmark No.770 on January 31, 1962 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 30, 1976.
 
Also see . . .
1. University of California Bancroft Library. Built in 1863, the Oroville Chinese Temple served as a place of worship for a community of 10,000 Chinese residents. An innovative collaboration among the City of Oroville, Gloria Gee, the Library of Congress, and The Bancroft Library has resulted in online access to a digital archive of the Oroville Chinese Temple treasures. (Submitted on April 6, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.) 

2. The City of Oroville – The Chinese Temple. (Submitted on April 6, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.)
3. A Photo Gallery of the Chinese Temple. (Submitted on April 6, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.)
 
Additional comments.
1. The Chinese Temple
In the latter half of the nineteenth century there were as many as 3,500 Chinese people in Oroville. The came to search for gold. For the first twenty years there were only men, as they were not allowed to bring their families. Most of them came from the Shanghai and Canton areas of China.

Around 1850 they built their first temple. It was made of wood and it burned down. They rebuilt it, also from wood, and it also burned. They purchased bricks and in 1863 the new temple was finished. This is the temple that still stands today. In the immediate vicinity there was a Joss House, a large store, and a theater. The Chinese area of Oroville was near the Feather River and the brick temple endured many floods. After the flood of 1907 and a general depression, most of the Chinese moved away.

The Chinese people that remained took care of the Temple until the 1930's. They gave the property to the City of Oroville in 1937 and the City made three promises. The first was to build a museum, the second was to keep the three temples open for worship, and the third was to teach about the customs and beliefs of the Chinese people.
 
Chinese Temple Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Syd Whittle, April 6, 2009
3. Chinese Temple Marker
 
    — Submitted April 7, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.

 
Additional keywords. Gold Rush, Chinese Americans
 
Oroville Chinese Temple Photo, Click for full size
By Syd Whittle, April 6, 2009
4. Oroville Chinese Temple
Placed on the National Register
July 30, 1976
 
 
Chinese Temple Photo, Click for full size
By Syd Whittle, April 6, 2009
5. Chinese Temple
Built 1863 - Restored 1949
 
 
Over the Entrance Door to the Chan Room Photo, Click for full size
By Syd Whittle, April 6, 2009
6. Over the Entrance Door to the Chan Room
Built in 1874, The Chan worship room is Suey Sing Bak, commonly known as the Chan Room. This room was built by all Chinese in remembrance of Chan Low Kwan, also known as Viscount of Pacification.
 
 
The Chan Room Photo, Click for full size
By Syd Whittle, April 6, 2009
7. The Chan Room
 
 
Entrance to the Moon Room Photo, Click for full size
By Syd Whittle, April 6, 2009
8. Entrance to the Moon Room
Built in 1868, on the floor above the Council Room is Wong Fut Tong, which is called the Moon Temple because of its circular door. This signifies the circle of life. This room devoted to Buddha is the most religious room in the complex.
 
 
The Garden Photo, Click for full size
By Syd Whittle, April 6, 2009
9. The Garden
The Courtyard Garden was established in 1968, and all of the plants are of Chinese origin except for some annuals planted for color.
 
 
Fong Lee Room Photo, Click for full size
By Syd Whittle, April 6, 2009
10. Fong Lee Room
This is the newest room at the complex. Dedicated April 16, 2008. the room is a gift of the Chin (Chan) Shew Ting Family. Displayed are the drawers used to hold herbal medicine sold here as well as the scales and items used for buying and selling gold.
 
 
On Display at the Entrance Photo, Click for full size
By Syd Whittle, April 6, 2009
11. On Display at the Entrance
 
 
1860 -Typical Chinese Dwelling - 1870 Photo, Click for full size
By Syd Whittle, April 6, 2009
12. 1860 -Typical Chinese Dwelling - 1870
This replica of a miner's hut from the 1860's was built in 1976 of wood from a barn dating back to the 1860's.
 
 
Lo T'ien Alter Photo, Click for full size
By Syd Whittle, April 6, 2009
13. Lo T'ien Alter
Representing an unnamed
Diety or "The God" Chinese
Characters: "All prevailing
Peace Under Heaven"
 
 
Marker Attached to the Lo T'ien Alter Photo, Click for full size
By Syd Whittle, April 6, 2009
14. Marker Attached to the Lo T'ien Alter
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on April 6, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 1,779 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 6, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   4, 5. submitted on April 7, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   6, 7. submitted on April 6, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. submitted on April 7, 2009, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.
 
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