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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Granite in Baker County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
 

Ah Hee Diggings

A Job of Mythical Proportions

 
 
Ah Hee Diggings Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Hann, August 7, 2017
1. Ah Hee Diggings Marker
Center panel
Inscription.
Center Panel:
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.

Left Panel:
Dreams of a Better Life
Tough times in China in the mid-1800s motivated a generation of men to seek their fortunes elsewhere.
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

Right Panel:
Traditional Life Far From Home
Chinese immigrants clung to tradition to deal with the hardship and isolation they faced.
Dreams of a Better Life image. Click for full size.
By Don Hann, August 7, 2017
2. Dreams of a Better Life
Left side panel
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.
 
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. Touch for map. About 2 1/4 miles north of the town of Granite. Marker is easily visible from the road. Marker is in this post office area: Sumpter OR 97877, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 3 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Granite, Oregon / Leaving Granite (approx. 1.4 miles away); Red Boy Mine (approx. 3.9 miles away); The Fremont Powerhouse Historic District (approx. 4.6 miles away).
 
Categories. Asian Americans
 
Traditional Life Far From Home image. Click for full size.
By Don Hann, August 7, 2017
3. Traditional Life Far From Home
Right side panel
Ah Hee Diggings Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Hann, August 7, 2017
4. Ah Hee Diggings Marker
Overview of marker and pullout on Forest Service Road 73
Tailings at Ah Hee Diggings image. Click for full size.
By Don Hann, August 7, 2017
5. Tailings at Ah Hee Diggings
To really appreciate the scale of this mine, drive to the base of the hill (heading south, towards Granite) and park on the unmarked parking area on the left side of the road. Cross the narrow creek and scramble up the tailings for a view. wear good shoes and watch your footing!
Ah Hee Diggings image. Click for full size.
By Don Hann, August 7, 2017
6. Ah Hee Diggings
Channels formed by carefully stacking the tailings held the sluice boxes where the gold was recovered.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 25, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 10, 2017, by Don Hann of Canyon City, Oregon. This page has been viewed 53 times since then. 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.
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