John Day in Grant County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
Kam Wah Chung Company Building
National Historic Landmark
This property possesses national significance
in commemorating the history of the
United States of America
Kam Wah Chung Company Building is the best and earliest known example of a Chinese Mercantile and Herb Store in the United States. This property is significant for its association with Chinese immigrants in the development of the American West.
Erected 2006 by National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior.
Marker series. This marker is included in the National Historic Landmarks marker series.
Location. 44° 25.123′ N, 118° 57.412′ W. Marker is in John Day, Oregon, in Grant County. Marker can be reached from Ing-Hay Way north of NW Canton Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. This is a National Historic Landmark Plaque mounted directly on the subject building. Marker is in this post office area: John Day OR 97845, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Welcome to Kam Wah Chung (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Civilian Conservation Corps John Day/Canyon City (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Advent Christian Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Adventist Christian Church (approx. ¼ mile away); As told by an old timer (approx. 2 miles away); Welcome To Canyon City (approx. 2.1 miles away); Canyon City Mural (approx. 2.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in John Day.
More about this marker. The Kam Wah Chung Company Building is located in the Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site, at the north end of Ing-Hay Way, north of the intersection with NW Canton Street
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Also see . . .
1. Kam Wah Chung Company Building.
The Kam Wah Chung Company building stands as the sole reminder of the town’s once thriving Chinese community. Built circa 1866 as a trading post, the building later served as a commercial, social, cultural, and spiritual center of the Chinese settlement of John Day. (Submitted on January 17, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Kam Wah Chung and Co.
The Kam Wah Chung and Company was a Chinese-owned grocery, dry goods store, and clinic in John Day. Built as a trading post along The Dalles Military Road in about 1866-1867, the store enjoyed a vigorous Chinese clientele and provided a gathering place for the Chinese community. It also functioned as a temple and joss house, unofficial post office, library, business and interpretive center, contract labor pool, automobile dealership, social club, dormitory, and apothecary shop. (Submitted on January 17, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. John Day’s Chinese Heritage.
John Day had the largest Chinese community in eastern Oregon (between 500 and 600 residents) when Ing “Doc” Hay and Lung On arrived in town from San Francisco in 1887. The young Cantonese men, both in their mid-20s, bought a one-story trading post and the following year opened Kam Wah Chung and Company (“The Golden Flower of Prosperity”) as a general store and medical clinic. For many years, Kam Wah Chung was a social center for the Chinese community, even as the Asian population went into rapid decline. The area economy shifted from mining to livestock ranching and agriculture, and fewer than 100 Chinese remained in John Day by 1910. (Submitted on January 17, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • Asian Americans • Industry & Commerce • Man-Made Features • Notable Buildings •
Credits. This page was last revised on January 20, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 17, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 45 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on January 17, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.