“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Truckee in Nevada County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

China Wall

China Wall Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, April 26, 2018
1. China Wall Marker
Inscription.  History
Things to do right here
"They were a great army laying siege to Nature in her strongest citadel." -- Beyond the Mississippi, 1869.

They worked sunrise to sunset, six days a week, 52 weeks a year. Had it not been for the Chinese workers brought from China, the Central Pacific Railroad would not have been built. More than 8,000 Chinese workers toiled for years to build the railroad from Sacramento to Utah. They endured avalanches, blasting accidents, rock slides, blizzards, icy cold, exhaustion, and prejudice. Ironically, it was first thought Chinese workers would not be acceptable. Leland Stanford supposedly said though, "They built the Great Wall" didn't they?
In the American West, they built a great railroad.
There were Chinese camps all along the rail route and artifacts can still be found. Of course the railroad is the biggest monument but here, China Wall is a great example of their work. The Sierra are rugged and to lay a rail route with a maximum 3% grade is difficult. Fifteen tunnels had to be blasted through solid granite at inches of progress a day. High spots had to be cut,
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trestles and bridges to span rivers had to be built, and low spots had to be filled in. China Wall is one such low spot, filled with rubble from the tunnel nearby. Today it would be easy: a few bulldozers could fill it in hours. The Chinese moved the rock and dirt and the filling was done by hand.
"I wish to call to your minds that the early completion of this railroad we have built has been in large measure due to that poor, despised class of laborers called the Chinese, to the fidelity and industry they have shown." Judge E.B. Crocker

Things to do right here
• Watch the climbers on the nearby climbing rocks or climb yourself.
• Walk through the 1913 underpass on the Lincoln Highway.
• Look at the Native American petroglyphs on the rock slabs.
• Walk the Lincoln Highway; you can easily follow the route - it's the dirt road you see going down the pass.
• Climb Mt. Stephens, the peak just north of Rainbow Bridge.
• Look along the old Lincoln Highway for ads painted on the rocks luring people to a hotel with "steam heat" in Truckee.
• Take the Pacific Crest Trail from Old 40 to I-80 and back (4miles each way).
Erected by Donner Summit Historical Society. (Marker Number 30.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Asian Americans
China Wall Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, April 26, 2018
2. China Wall Marker
Railroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the Donner Summit Historical Society series list.
Location. 39° 19.052′ N, 120° 19.229′ W. Marker is in Truckee, California, in Nevada County. Marker is on Donner Pass Road, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 17875 Donner Pass Rd, Truckee CA 96161, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Petroglyphs (a few steps from this marker); Sacred Symbols From Ancient Times (within shouting distance of this marker); China Wall of the Sierra (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Rainbow Bridge (about 600 feet away); Donner Pass (about 600 feet away); Stephens – Townsend – Murphy Party of 1844 (about 600 feet away); McGlashan Point (about 700 feet away); Transcontinental Railroad (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Truckee.
More about this marker. The marker is located at the first big bend beyond Rainbow Bridge while heading east on Donner Pass Road.
Also see . . .  The Chinese-American Contribution to the Transcontinental Railroad - Central Pacific Railroad Photog.
China Wall image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, April 26, 2018
3. China Wall
A large majority of the white laboring class on the Pacific Coast find more profitable and congenial employment in mining and agricultural pursuits, than in railroad work. The greater portion of the laborers employed by us are Chinese, who constitute a large element in the population of California. Without them it would be impossible to complete the western portion of this great national enterprrise, within the time required by the Acts of Congress. (Submitted on February 9, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.) 
The Chinese working on the Prospect Hill Cut image. Click for full size.
Photographed By A.A. Hart
4. The Chinese working on the Prospect Hill Cut
Credits. This page was last revised on February 9, 2019. It was originally submitted on February 9, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 494 times since then and 42 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 9, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Apr. 13, 2024