Ethnic Communities

You’ll be amazed how many local historical societies are still woefully ignorant of the history of their cities, especially when it pertains to people and places that have long vanished.  Thanks to Thomas A. McDannold’s book (see California History Resources), we have a fairly complete picture of settlements by the Chinese in 19th-century California.  We hope to include the same for the Irish, Chileans, Italians, and other groups in the future.

Chinese American Communities (established 1850-1920s); including Chinatowns, fishing villages, and camps of a certain size (business areas excluded) (U.S. Department of the Interior:  National Park Service—Links to the Past…select Cultural Groups under A Cultural Resource Subject, then click on Five Views:  An Ethnic Historic Site Survey for California) (Web Pages of Kevin Baugh) (The Library of Congress:  American Memory—click on Immigration, American Expansion, then The Chinese in California)


County Location(s)
Northern California
Alameda* Oakland (1860s-present, see More Historical Sites), Union City/Alvarado district (c1920s-1xxx)
Alpine ?
Amador Fiddletown (c1850-1965, CHL 35), Jackson (1850s-19xx) [parking lot], Lancha Plana (along shore of Camanche Reservoir) (1855-1860, CHL 30), Plymouth (1890s-1xxx), Butte City (1xxx-1xxx) [one building left], China City (near Whites Bar?) (1xxx-1xxx), China Gulch (now inundated by Camanche Reservoir) (1xxx-1963?), Drytown (1xxx-1xxx, CHL 31), Volcano (1xxx-1xxx, CHL 29)
Butte Oroville (1850s-19xx, see California Temples and More Historical Sites) [-present?], Chico (c1865-1974, see California Temples), Lava Beds (near Oroville) (1870s-1881), Centerville (18xx-1xxx), Helltown (near ?) (1870s-1895)
Calaveras Angels Camp (1850-1xxx, CHL 287), San Andreas (c1855-1xxx, CHL 252), Camanche (CHL 254, now inundated by Camanche Reservoir) (18xx-1963?), China Flat (near Campo Seco) (1xxx-1963?), China Spring (near Railroad Flat) (18xx-1xxx), Jenny Lind (1860s-1xxx, CHL 266), Mokelumne Hill (18xx-1930, CHL 269)
Colusa Colusa (1870s-1xxx) [several buildings left], Princeton (18xx-1880s?)
Contra Costa* ?
Del Norte ?
El Dorado Coloma (1850s-1880, see California Gold Rush) [two restored structures left], Placerville (1850s-1xxx) [one building left—now office building]
Fresno Millerton (now inundated by Millerton Lake) (1861-18xx), Fresno (1873-present?), Del Rey (1xxx-1929), Selma (18xx-1945)
Glenn Butte City (c1881-1xxx), Newville (1xxx-1xxx), Orland (1880s-19xx), Willows (1890s-19xx)
Humboldt Eureka (188x-1885, CHL 477)
Inyo ?
Kings Hanford (18xx-present, see California Temples), Armona (19xx-19xx)
Lake ?
Lassen Susanville (1880s-1890s)
Madera Spangle Gold Creek (near Coarsegold) (1860s-1xxx), Borden (near Madera) (1870s-19xx), Madera (1xxx-1xxx), Sugar Pine (18xx-1933)
Marin* San Rafael (c1880-1950s, see More Historical Sites), Sausalito (1884-19xx)
Mariposa Bear Valley (1850s-1880s), Coulterville (1850s-present, CHL 332), Hornitos (1852-1xxx, CHL 333)
Mendocino Mendocino (1870s?-1xxx, see California Temples), Fort Bragg (18xx-1926)
Merced Merced (1885-1960s)
Modoc Alturas (c1874-19xx)
Mono Bodie (1870s-1xxx, CHL 341, [three buildings remain], Mammoth City (near Mono Lake) (c1875-1880s)
Monterey Pacific Grove (1850s-1906, see More Historical Sites), Pebble Peach (1868-1912, see More Historical Sites), Salinas (1872-present?), Monterey (1870s-1930s, see California Cities and More Historical Sites) [parking garages], Castroville (1870s-1978), Pajaro (1888-1933) [housing tract], China Gulch (near Jolon) (1860s-1870s?)
Napa* Napa (1860s-1929, see California Temples)
Nevada Nevada City (1850s-1xxx), North San Juan (1850s-1930s), Grass Valley (18xx-1870s, see California Temples), North Bloomfield (in Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park?) (18xx-1880s?), Truckee (187x-1878, see More Historical Sites), Truckee River (1878-1886), China Cove (southeast side of Donner Lake; in Donner Memorial State Park) (18xx-1xxx)
Placer Auburn (1850s-present?, CHL 404, see California Temples and More Historical Sites) [several stores remain], Dutch Flat (c1860-1881?, CHL 397), Virginiatown (near Newcastle) (1860-1906, CHL 400), Rocklin-Roseville (18xx-1877), China Town (near Dutch Flat) (c1887-1xxx), Newcastle (1xxx-1xxx)
Plumas Silver Creek (near Quincy) (1850s-1920s, see California Temples), La Porte (1858-1905), Jamison City (near ?) (18xx-1871), Quincy (1870s-1940s) [auto agency and shopping center], Seneca (c1880-c1900), Belden (18xx-1xxx), Claireville (near ?) (1880s-1903), Taylorsville (1880s-1xxx), Crescent Mills (18xx-1xxx), Greenville (1xxx-1xxx)
Sacramento Sacramento (1852-present, see More Historical Sites), Walnut Grove (1850s-present, see More Historical Sites), Alder Creek (near Folsom) (1850s-1900s), Prairie City (c1855-1xxx, CHL 464), Isleton (1870s-present, see More Historical Sites), Elliot (near Courtland?) (18xx-1885), North Fork of the Mokelumne River (near Walnut Grove) (18xx-1885), Paintersville (between Courtland and Vorden) (c1885-1xxx), Locke (1915-present, see More Historical Sites), Courtland (1xxx-1930s), Vorden (1xxx-1xxx)
San Benito ?
San Francisco* San Francisco (1852/54-present, see California Neighborhoods and More Historical Sites)
San Joaquin Stockton (c1850-1960s), China Camp (on Victoria Island) (c1900-19xx), Terminous (18xx-19xx)
San Mateo* Menlo Park (1xxx-1950s), San Mateo (1870s-1xxx, see More Historical Sites)
Santa Clara* San Jose (1860s-1930s, see California Cities), Gilroy (1xxx-1xxx), Palo Alto/Mayfield area (1xxx-1940s, see More Historical Sites), Mountain View (1xxx-1xxx), San Felipe (1870s-1xxx), Alviso (c1906-19xx, see More Historical Sites)
Santa Cruz Carmel (1851-1870s, see More Historical Sites), Santa Cruz (1xxx-19xx, see California Cities), Watsonville (18xx-1888) [one building left]
Shasta Shasta (in Shasta State Historic Park, (c1854-1859, CHL 77), Redding (18xx-1886)
Sierra Downieville (1852-19xx), Gibsonville (1xxx-1xxx)
Siskiyou Yreka (1850s-1930s, CHL 901)
Solano* Fairfield (c1870-c1929), Vallejo (18xx-1960s), Rio Vista (c1878-1920s), Vacaville (1870-1940s, see California Temples) [one building remains], Benicia (1891-1xxx)
Sonoma* Sonoma (1860s-1900s, see More Historical Sites), Petaluma (c1885-1888?)
Stanislaus Modesto (c1885-1910s), Newman (1880s-1910s), Hill’s Ferry (near Newman) (18xx-1888), Knights Ferry (18xx-1xxx, CHL 347)
Sutter ?
Tehama Red Bluff (1850s-1970s), Tehama (18xx-1908), Vina (1xxx-1919)
Trinity Lewiston (18xx-1xxx), Weaverville (1850s-1977?, see California Temples) [one adobe building left?], Junction City (c1886-1889)
Tulare Visalia (1885-19xx)
Tuolumne Sonora (1850s-1xxx) [brick portal left], Big Oak Flat (1850s?-1xxx, CHL 406), Chinese Camp (1850s-1870s?, CHL 423), Montezuma (near Chinese Camp) (1850s?-1xxx, CHL 122)
Yolo Woodland (1870s-1xxx)
Yuba Marysville (1850s-present, see California Temples), Timbuctoo (1854-1xxx, CHL 320) [at least one building left], Wheatland (18xx-1886)
Southern California
Imperial Calexico (1xxx), El Centro (c1907-19xx) [one community center left]
Kern Bakersfield (1870s-1952, see California Temples)
Los Angeles Pasadena (188x-1885), Pomona (1880s-1xxx), Los Angeles (1870s-present) [Old Chinatown now site of Union Terminal?], Burbank (18xx-1893)
Orange Anaheim (1860s-1935), Garden Grove (1xxx-1910s?), Tustin (1880-c1910), Orange (1880s-1910), Placentia (1880s-1xxx), Santa Ana (c1884-1906)
Riverside Riverside (1876/79-1974/77) [eastern portion now site of Riverside County Office of Education], Mira Loma (c1880-c1890), Temecula (1xxx-present?)
San Bernardino Colton (c1878-1894), San Bernardino (c1876-1960), Calico (near Yermo?) (1884-1890s, CHL 782), Needles (1880s-1xxx), Redlands (1880s-1xxx), Cucamonga (1890s-1939) [one store left—now private residence], Upland (c1893-1915), Yucaipa (1890s-1920s)
San Diego Julian (c1869-1xxx, CHL 412), San Diego (1870-1960s) [-present?]
San Luis Obispo Cambria (18xx-c1916, see California Temples), Arroyo Grande (18xx-1886), San Luis Obispo (1860s-1924, see California Temples) [one store and one building left], San Miguel (18xx-1890)
Santa Barbara Santa Barbara (c1885-1937, see California Temples), Guadalupe (1xxx-19xx)
Ventura Oxnard (18xx-1940s), Ventura (1866-1923, see California Temples) [one adobe left]



Jewish American Communities (1850s) (The Judah L. Magnes Museum) (International Survey of Jewish Monuments)


County Location(s)
Northern California
Amador Jackson (1857-1921, see California Temples)
Calaveras Mokelumne Hill (1859-1878, CHL 269)
El Dorado Placerville (1854-1968, see California Temples)
Nevada Nevada City (1852-1890), Grass Valley (1856-1891)
Sacramento Sacramento (18xx-?, see California Temples)
Tuolumne Sonora (1851-1977), Columbia (185x-18xx, CHL 123, now Columbia State Historic Park,
Yuba Marysville (1852-1945)



An asterisk indicates San Francisco Bay Area destination; CHL means California Historical Landmark.

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