San Leandro in Alameda County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Memorial to the Chinese Laborers
Lake Chabot Historical Walk
Ah Bing – 41, Kim Yuen – 29, Toy Sing – 31, and Lock Sing – 33, who died outside this tunnel. This panel is also dedicated to the countless unnamed and unsung Chinese laborers who worked on Lake Chabot Dam from 1874 to 1892.
In 1888 and 1889 Chinese laborers dug and dynamited 1,438 feet through rock hillside to make this spillway tunnel. Overflow water from the lake passes through the tunnel, into the 679 foot masonry-lined canal and then back into San Leandro Creek
On the evening of September 16, 1889, a dynamite explosion killed four Chinese laborers who were digging the canal outside this tunnel.
While records of Chinese laborers are scant, their achievements were enormous. Using hand tools such as pickaxes, and shovels, they cleared 333 acres of bush and timber, blasted 3,100 feet of tunnels, built more than 15 miles of roads and 18 miles of fences, and moved 600,000 cubic yards of earth.
Chinese laborers built Lake Chabot with back-breaking labor. Belatedly, we honor their significant
The tunnel is the length of four football fields and connected to Lake Chabot. Note the fine hand-crafted masonry of chiseled stone, burnt brick, and Portland cement at the entrance. Can you see where the masonry shifts from stone to brick?
Erected 2012 by Chinese Historical Society of America, Alameda County Historical Society and East Bay Regional Parks.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Asian Americans • Disasters • Man-Made Features.
Location. 37° 43.955′ N, 122° 7.68′ W. Marker is in San Leandro, California, in Alameda County. Marker can be reached from Estudillo Avenue, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1799 Estudillo Avenue, San Leandro CA 94577, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Roots From Another Land (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Filtration Basins (about 300 feet away); Giant Water Filters (about 600 feet away); Lake Chabot Historical Walk (about 600 feet away); A Zoo, a Monkey, and a Mansion Here Too! (approx. ¼ mile away); Tunnel No. 1 Control Shaft (approx. ¼ mile Yem-Po: Chinese Labor Camp (approx. 0.3 miles away); Taming the Waters Flow (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Leandro.
More about this marker. The one mile Lake Chabot Historical Walk begins at the parking lot at the end of Estudillo Avenue. This marker is about 300 yards from the beginning of the trail.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on February 9, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 502 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on February 9, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.