During the 1800’s, Chinese men came to the area to seek gold, make their money, and go back home to China. Because of this, the Chinese workers often stayed in a group and rarely participated in the everyday lifestyle of Euro-Americans. They were also safer in numbers due to the rampant violence they faced by white workers including robbery, murder, and arson.
In these camps, the Chinese workers were able to retain their own sense of self through the dietary, social, and religious habits of their home land.
Items of Chinese origin found at this site indicate a camp. These include Chinese-style button fasteners, opium pipes and tins, medicine vials, brownware, and opium tin repurposed into gaming pieces.
Another common identifier is animal remains. Not only did the Chinese prefer pork over any other meat, but they ate the parts of a pig considered “lower end” by Euro-Americans such as the feet and shoulders. Though the animals were likely butchered by a Euro-American, indicated by the type of saw pattern on the bones, the type of bones point toward Chinese consumption.
Based of dating methods used on nails, bottles, and the known time of mining in the area, archaeologists believe the site dates to the 1880’s. Tailings from a nearby stream indicate that this was likely a Chinese mining camp.