Near Granite in Baker County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
Ah Hee Diggings
A Job of Mythical Proportions
These Chinese Miners Must Have Felt Like Sysyphus Pushing a Large Rock Uphill Forever, as in Greek Mythology.
The backbreaking labor of stacking and re-stacking sixteen acres of rocks here at the Ah Hee Diggings on Granite Creek must have felt the same to Chinese miners! Men muscled rock piles back, forth, up, and down the valley to expose the streambed. Then they used gold pans, rockers or sluice boxes to extract the gold missed by earlier operations from the streambed sediments.
Some farmed, dug ditches, or opened businesses. Others turned to mining. No matter the job, many immigrants harbored the same dream... to send money home and rejoin their families one day.
Chinese miners could not file their own claims, but holders could lease or sell their worked-out claims to Chinese owned companies. Along Granite Creek at least ten Chinese companies held claims
Camp diet favored rice, vegetables, and tea. On rare days off the miners traveled to town to shop and perhaps visit an herbal doctor, "joss house" (temple), opium smoking establishment, or gambling room.
Some men realized their dreams, returning to China with money in their pockets. Others died here, or went home no better off. A few embraced the future here, founding a Chinese American legacy and community that continues today
Erected by Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Asian Americans. In addition, it is included in the Chinese Heritage Sites of the American West series list.
Location. 44° 49.713′ N, 118° 24.883′ W. Marker is near Granite, Oregon, in Baker County. Marker is on Forest Road 73 2.2 miles north of County Road 24, on the right when traveling north. About 2 1/4 miles north of the town of Granite. Marker is easily visible from the road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sumpter OR 97877, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Granite, Oregon / Leaving GraniteRed Boy Mine (approx. 3.9 miles away); The Fremont Powerhouse Historic District (approx. 4.6 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on August 25, 2017. It was originally submitted on August 10, 2017, by Don Hann of Canyon City, Oregon. This page has been viewed 147 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 10, 2017, by Don Hann of Canyon City, Oregon. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.