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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Idaho City in Boise County, Idaho — The American West (Mountains)
 

The Chinese Legacy in Boise Basin (在愛达荷城的华人)

The Pon Yam Store (仲黃商店)

 

1873 - 1904

 
The Chinese Legacy in Boise Basin Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 3, 2018
1. The Chinese Legacy in Boise Basin Marker
Inscription. Click to hear the inscription.  This building was constructed in 1865 by Elias Brown. It originally housed a newspaper office, restaurant and grocery store. It was one of several brick buildings known as "fireproofs" that were constructed after a disastrous fire swept through Idaho City that year. In addition to double-wall brick construction, the buildings have metal doors and shutters, and reinforced attic floors protected by a layer of sod. This helped keep the contents of the building from burning in the event of fire.
In 1873 the Wong Chong Company purchased the building for use as a Chinese mercantile. Pon Yam was the store's long time proprietor, and a prominent elder statesman of Idaho City's Chinese community. When he returned to China in 1904, the Idaho World newspaper commented that "for every enterprise of a public nature for which the community has been called upon for donations, Pon Yam has alway contributed liberally and cheerfully."
Boise Basin's population was diverse and international during the 1860's gold rush. By 1879, Chinese immigrants comprised nearly half the basin's population of four thousand people. Most Chinese engaged in mining. Their willingness
The Chinese Legacy in Boise Basin Marker and Pon Yam Store image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 3, 2018
2. The Chinese Legacy in Boise Basin Marker and Pon Yam Store
to work claims that other miners considered exhausted helped prolong the basin's gold rush. The Pon Yam Store is the last Chinese owned and occupied building in town.
The Idaho City Historical Foundation has preserved the building as a tribute to the contributions these immigrants made to Idaho history and the prosperity they achieved in the American West. This project has been made possible by the Idaho Commission on the Arts, Idaho State Historical Society, USDA Forest Service, Chinese-American community.
 
Erected 2016 by Idaho City Historical Society, City of Idaho City, and E Clampus Vitus, Snake River Chapter No. 1811.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus marker series.
 
Location. 43° 49.672′ N, 115° 50.025′ W. Marker is in Idaho City, Idaho, in Boise County. Marker is at the intersection of Montgomery Street and Commercial Street, on the right when traveling north on Montgomery Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 400 Montgomery Street, Idaho City ID 83631, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. World War II Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); The Idaho World (within shouting distance of this marker);
Pon Yam Store image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, May 3, 2018
3. Pon Yam Store
Miners Exchange (within shouting distance of this marker); U.S. Senator Frank Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Boise Basin Museum (within shouting distance of this marker); Boise County Courthouse (within shouting distance of this marker); Masonic Temple (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Masonic Temple (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Idaho City.
 
Categories. Asian AmericansNotable Buildings
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 21, 2018. This page originally submitted on June 21, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 55 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 21, 2018, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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