The Chung Wah cemetery in Folsom is unusual for its strong association ties and ownership, for its continued existence in an area that has been extensively mined, and for the intact associated features. Folsom’s Chinese community once contained the homes, businesses, and gardens of hundreds of people. Today, only this cemetery remains as the last visual reminder of a rich heritage and a viable Chinese population that once flourished in town. Acquired in 1906, the cemetery also represents strong district association relationships that were maintained in Folsom well into the twentieth century- It has numerous features associated with historical use, including burial mounds and ‘ vaults, exhumation depressions, a burning pit, and a shrine foundation, all attesting to the overall physical integrity of the cemetery and reflecting the spiritual beliefs and practices of the association members. The sense of time and place evident when standing in the cemetery grounds is strong. The historical and ethnic associations of the cemetery, combined with its high level of physical integrity, contribute to its importance for preservation. The last burial occurred in 1946, ending a 40-year period of use and representing the decline of the Chinese community in Folsom. This cemetery has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1995.
Submitted by: Sue Fawn Chung
Cemetery, National Register of Historic Places