San Francisco in San Francisco City and County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Erected 1981 by Henry & Diana Chung Family.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Notable Places • Waterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the Chinese Heritage Sites of the American West series list.
Location. 37° 47.238′ N, 122° 29.45′ W. Marker is in San Francisco, California, in San Francisco City and County. Marker is on Seacliff Avenue near End of Seacliff, on the right when traveling west. The Golden Gate Parks Conservancy describes the location of this site thus, "The tiny cove of China Beach lies between Baker Beach and Lands End.". Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: San Francisco CA 94121, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Soldiers who Perished in WWII (approx. half a mile away); Western Terminus of the Lincoln HighwayFrances E. Willard (approx. half a mile away); "The Holocaust" (approx. half a mile away); The Arrival of the First Japanese Naval Ship (approx. 0.6 miles away); Historic Shipwrecks - Lost at the Golden Gate (approx. ¾ mile away); Electric Streetcar Line (approx. one mile away); The Anza Expedition Camped Here (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Francisco.
More about this marker. The Golden Gate Parks Conservancy says this on its website about China Beach, "Legend has it that local residents named China Beach for the Chinese fishermen who, long ago, anchored their junks in the cove and camped on the beach."
The historian Ronald Takaki has stated that new scholarship indicates that the Chinese may have been the first commercial fishermen active in San Francisco waters.
1. The Rest of the Story
Chinese fishing from China Beach came to an end in the 1890s. “In 1880 California passed “An Act Relating to Fishing in the Waters of this State”: “All aliens incapable of becoming electors of this state are hereby prohibited from fishing, or taking any fish, lobster, shrimp, of shell fish of any kind, for the purposes of selling, or giving to another person to sell...” Conveniently, only Chinese were aliens not eligible to vote.” While this bill was declared unconstitutional, the legislature continued to pass similar measures. “White thuggery” eventually
The beach was ‘renamed’ Phelan Beach, in honor of three-term San Francisco mayor and US Senator (1915-21), James Phelan. As San Francisco mayor, Phelan allowed a blockade and quarantine of Chinatown, and as US. Senator, Phelan supported laws prohibiting Japanese from owning land in California.
Reference: Lies Across America, Loewen, James W. (1999, Simon & Schuster, New York) pgs. 53-55.
— Submitted November 30, 2011, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on January 5, 2010, by Jordan Yee AKA "Ranger Yee" of Fremont, California. This page has been viewed 1,456 times since then and 34 times this year. Last updated on February 24, 2012. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on January 5, 2010, by Jordan Yee AKA "Ranger Yee" of Fremont, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.