Chinatown Gardens clearing by Cal Fire

Apr 17, 2017 by

Chinatown Gardens clearing by Cal Fire

What the heck is going on in the Chinatown Gardens site on East Center Street?  As part of maintaining the Moke Hill fire break, Cal Fire is removing the blackberries and other vegetation from these historic gardens built in the 1860s and worked by our town’s Chinese.  Chinese terraced the natural gully with stone retaining walls to make level garden plots, and a Buddhist temple was constructed adjacent to the road (see photo from 1923).  The garden was purchased by the Mokelumne Hill History Society in 2015 from June Davies’ estate – to be preserved as part of our town’s heritage.  Vegetation has covered the site for over a hundred years and this clearing work will reveal new information on our historic Chinese.  Exposure will also make the site vulnerable.  This history belongs to the town and everyone can help protect the site from destructive (and illegal) digging or artifact collection.   Please call Julia (286-1182) or Mary Anne (217-7333) to report any problems.

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