Grant County

China Doctor Grant County

Ah Hee Diggings. Grant County.
Ah Hee Diggings is about one mile north of the community of Granite, next to Granite Creek in the Granite Mining District. Covering approximately 60 acres, the site shows evidence of Chinese living facilities, a mess hall, extensive ditch system, and rows of stacked rock. Records indicate Chinese had worked claims in the area as early as 1867. See Chinese Walls, Grant County. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; Wegars 1995: 34-38, 61-64.

Ah Hee Reservoir. Grant County.
Ah Hee Reservoir was on Granite Creek within the Granite Mining District. It was a water holding facility used for hydraulic mining, feed by small ditches from Granite Creek and Last Chance Creek. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; Wegars 1995: 127.

Ah Hee Walls. Grant County.
Ah Hee Walls, also known as Chinese Walls, are located within the Ah Hee Diggings and is the result of Chinese miners hand-stacking rocks in a manner that appears to form walls. The rocks are concentrated by hydraulic mining and must be moved in order to retrieve the gold and/or allow for further hydraulic and placer mining. See Ah Hee Diggings, Grant County. Reference: Wegars 1995: 42. Photo.

Blue Gulch. Grant County.
The stream in Blue Gulch flows northward into Canyon Creek north of Canyon City in the Canyon Mining District. Grant County records and map information indicate Chinese mining activity in the gulch. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; Steeves 1984: 201; U.S.G.S. quadrangle 7.5’ series, John Day, Oregon, 1995.

Canton Street. Grant County.
Canton Street (today’s NW Canton Street) was the main street of the John Day Chinatown. See John Day Chinatown, Grant County. Reference: Barlow and Richardson 1979: 92. Photo.

Canyon Creek. Grant County.
Canyon Creek flows north past Canyon City where it joins the John Day River. It was the center of the Canyon Creek Mining District. Grant County records and map information indicate the Chinese mined the creek. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; Steeves 1984: 201; U.S.G.S. quadrangle 7.5’ series, John Day, Oregon, 1995.

Canyon City Chinatown. Grant County.
Canyon City Chinatown began shortly after 1862 when gold was discovered nearby in what became known as the Canyon Creek Mining District. The Chinatown had several hundred occupants, mostly from Sze Yup District near Canton, China. When Canyon City Chinatown burned in 1885, the Sze Yup relocated to John Day Chinatown where they became the dominant group, displacing those from Sam Yup. (See John Day Chinatown, Grant County). Reference: Barlow and Richardson 1979: 9, 12, 25; Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999.

China Cap. Grant County.
China Cap is a peak standing 3490 feet above sea level. It’s somewhat conical shape has an appearance similar to the peasant hat worn by Chinese in the 1800's. Reference: U.S.G.S. quadrangle 7.5’ series, Turner Mountain, Oregon, 1980.

China Diggings Mine. Grant County.
China Diggings Mine is on the west side of nearby Granite Boulder Creek within the Greenhorn Mining District. It was a site of Chinese placer gold mining. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; Wagner 1945; U.S.G.S. quadrangle 7.5’ series, Boulder Butte, Oregon, 1995.

China Ditch. Grant County.
The ditch/canal was constructed by Chinese in order to bring water to the hydraulic mining that took place near Prairie City within the nearby Canyon Creek Mining District during the late 1800s. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; Edson 1974: 19.

China Gulch. Grant County.
China Gulch flows into Granite Creek within the Granite Mining District. The gulch itself was the site of extensive gold mining activity. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; U.S.G.S. quadrangle 7.5’ series, Granite, Oregon, 1995.

China Hat Spring. Grant County.
China Hat Spring is located between Widows Creek in the west and Wikiup Creek in the east. The spring is within the Canyon Creek Mining District. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; U.S.G.S. quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Big Weasel Spring, Oregon, 1998.

China Meadow. Grant County.
China Meadow is in the Granite Mining District and lies between McCarty Creek and Wagner Gulch approximately ½ mile northwest of the community of Granite. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; U.S.G.S. quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Silver Butte, Oregon, 1980.

China Peak. Grant County.
China Peak stands 4449 feet above sea level between Cottonwood Creek and Straight Creek. Its roughly conical shape has an appearance similar to the peasant hat worn by Chinese in the 1800s. Reference: U.S.G.S. quadrangle, 7.5’ Series, Courthouse Rock, Oregon, 1980.

Chinaman Trail. Grant County.
Chinaman Trail trends in a northerly direction from the aqueduct connecting Olive Lake and North Fork Creek in the North Fork Mining District. Placer gold mining began in the district in 1860's. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; U.S.G.S. quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Olive Lake, Oregon, 1980.

Chinese Walls. Grant County.
Chinese Walls are between the North Fork John Day Campground and the town of Granite along an eight mile stretch of National Service Forest Road 73. The walls were created by Chinese placer miners who removed and stacked rocks from and along Granite Creek in their effort to retrieve gold. Reference: “Recreational Opportunities: Blue Mountains Scenic Bypass.”; U.S.G.S. quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Granite, Oregon, 1995; U.S.G.S. quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Trout Meadows, Oregon, 1995.

Dixie Creek Chinese Mines. Grant County.
Dixie Creek flows southward through Prairie City into the John Day River in the Quartzburg Mining District. Grant County records and map information indicate Chinese mining activity along Dixie Creek. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; Steeves 1984: 201; U.S.G.S. quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Prairie City, Oregon, 1996.

Dixie Meadow Mine. Grant County.
Dixie Meadow Mine is on North Fork Dixie Creek that flows into Dixie Creek within the Quartzburg Mining District. Grant County records and map information indicate Chinese mining activity in and around the mine. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; Steeves 1984: 201; U.S.G.S. quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Dixie Meadows, Oregon, 1996.

Dutch Flat. Grant County.
Dutch Flat is adjacent to Dutch Flat Creek that flows northeast into North Powder River. Grant County records indicate that Chinese miners were active in the area. Reference: Steeves 1984: 201; U.S.G.S. quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Rock Creek, Oregon, 1984.

Granite City Chinatown. Grant County.
Granite Chinatown was on the upper part of today’s Main Street in Granite City. The Chinatown consisted of stores, a butcher shop, tailor, residences, etc., serving the needs of the Chinese miners in the Granite Mining District. The 1870 census reported 365 Chinese with the 1910 census indicating no Chinese living there. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; McConnell 1979; U.S.G.S. quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Granite, Oregon, 1995; Wegars 1995: 38, 43.

Granite Creek. Grant County.
Granite Creek has hydraulic mine tailings extending about three miles along its course near Granite City. It was the center of the Granite Creek Mining District. Grant County records and map information indicate the Chinese placer mined throughout. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; Steeves 1984: 201; U.S.G.S. quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Granite, Oregon, 1995.

Happy Camp Chinese Mine. Grant County.
Happy Camp Chinese Mine was located on Dixie Creek, a tributary of Eagle Creek, and was near the North Fork Mining District. Chinese miners reworked the tailings from an earlier hydraulic mining effort. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; Steeves 1984: 148.

Harve Fields Ranch. Grant County.
Harve Fields, owner of one of the earliest ranches in the John Day Valley, hired only Chinese who worked as sheepherders, cowboys, and cooks. A Chinese with the nickname, “Buckaroo Sam,” was the ranch foreman. Sam spent years also working at the Stuart Ranch. He was a contemporary of Doc Hay. (See Kam Wah Chung & Co. Building, Grant County). Reference: Ooligan Press and Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association 2007: 44-45; Parks, Annette White 1985.

Horseshoe Bar. Grant County.
Horseshoe Bar is located at the mouth of Horseshoe Creek where it joins North Fork Malheur River near the Canyon Creek Mining District. The area was hydraulic mined in the 1880's. Grant Count records indicate Chinese miners worked the area. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; Steeves 1984: 201; U.S.G.S. quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Little Baldy Mountain, Oregon, 1998.

Humbolt Mine. Grant County.
The Humboldt Mine, established in 1862, was one of the earliest along Canyon Creek in the Canyon Creek Mining District. It was originally a placer operation and by the 1880's, it employed hydraulic mining techniques. The Chinese who worked there received 5-10% of the annual yield as their share. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; Steeves 1984: 113.

Ing Hay Way. Grant County.
Ing Hay Way joins NW Canton Street in the town of John Day. The 100 foot-long road leads to the Kam Wah Chung & Co. building. Reference: Oregon Parks and Recreation Department 2009. Photo.

John Day Chinatown. Grant County.
By 1887, the John Day Chinatown had three stores, a Joss house, laundry, and vegetable gardens. A fish pond and duck pond occupied depressions left from gold dredging. At its height, the population was 500-600, with those from the Sze Yup district near Canton, China displacing those from the Sam Yup District, China. By 1940, the population was less than 20. The site of the Chinatown is now the John Day City Park. (See Canton Street, Grant County). Reference: Barlow and Richardson 1979: 9, 13, 40, 41; Wegars 1995: 26.

John Day Joss House. Grant County.
John Day Joss House was a one story structure near the Kam Wah Chung & Co. building in the John Day Chinatown. The Taoist temple was the spiritual focus of the Chinatown. Reference: Barlow and Richardson 1979: 111.

Junction Bar. Grant County.
 Junction Bar is located at Junction Creek where the creek enters South Fork John Day River near the Canyon Creek Mining District. Grant County records indicate Chinese mined the area. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; Steeves 1984: 201; U.S.G.S. quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Suplee Butte, Oregon, 1992.

Kam Wah Chung & Co. Building. Grant County.
Located in the John Day Chinatown, the structure was built in 1866-1867 by Chinese. Its thick walls and iron shutters on the exterior of the building suggest it was originally a fortified trading post along the Dallas-Boise Military Road. The building was purchased by Chinese in 1889, eventually becoming the Kam Wah Chung & Co. store. A second story was added to the store in the 1890's in anticipation of an increase in business resulting from new nearby gold discoveries and the prospect of railroad construction. The increase and railroad did not occur. The last owners were Ing “Doc” Hay, an herbalist, and Lung On, a business man who became the first in John Day to install a telephone and electricity. Through the years, the building served as a general store, medical office, hiring hall, and post office. After the death of Lung On in 1940, Ing Hay continued to operate the store until 1948 when illness caused him to relocate to Portland. Upon his death in 1952, his heir effectively sealed the store, deeding it to the City of John Day in 1955 with the stipulation that it become a museum. (See Kam Wah Chung & Co. Museum). Reference: Barlow and Richardson 1979: 13, 28-29, 39, 40; Hagemeier 2004: C1, C8; McConnell 1979: 57-58. Photo.

Kam Wah Chung & Co. Museum. Grant County.
The Kam Wah Chung & Co. building served as a social and economic focus of the John Day Chinatown from the 1860's to the early 1950's. The heir of Ing Hay, the last owner, gave the building to the City of John Day in 1955. It sat closed and undisturbed for years. When work began on converting it to a museum in the 1970's, the building proved to be a time capsule containing a complete Chinese store of the nineteenth century. It held artifacts, documents, equipment, furniture, herbal remedies, food stuffs, dry goods, mining and carpentry tools and more. Having been the residence of Ing Hay, his daily life was preserved to include a small Taoist shrine. Converting the store into a museum involved Oregon State Parks and Recreation, Oregon Department of Transportation, National Park Service, American Revolution Bicentennial Committee, National Trust, Oregon Historical Society, and Friends of the Kam Wah Chung Museum. (See Kam Wah Chung & Co. Building, Grant County). Reference: Barlow and Richardson 1979: 13, 28-29, 96. Photo.

Lung On Car Dealership. Grant County.
Lung On’s Pontiac car dealership was on Main Street in the town of John Day. It was the first automobile dealership in Eastern Oregon and he was probably the first Chinese American auto dealer in the United States. Adjacent was his service station known as The Tourist Garage. Reference: Grant County, Oregon. History and Genealogy 1998; “Lung On (1863-1940)”; Powell 1990: 11. Photo.


Marysville Mining Area. Grant County.
The Marysville Mining area is in the Canyon Creek Mining District about two miles southeast of Canyon City. It was first mined in 1862. Chinese artifacts have been found throughout the area. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; Steeves 1984: 116.

Monument Chinatown. Grant County.
Monument Chinatown in the community of Monument was on present-day Highway 402 at the North Fork John Day River. When the gold in that part of the Canyon Creek Mining District played out, the Chinese went to new areas. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; McConnell 1979; U.S.G.S. quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Monument, Oregon, 1995.

Mount Vernon Chinatown. Grant County.
Mount Vernon Chinatown, in the community of Mount Vernon on Highway 26, was a short-lived concentration of Chinese. It quickly disappeared as gold mining in that portion of the Canyon Creek Mining District diminished. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; McConnell 1979; U.S.G.S. quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Mount Vernon, Oregon, 1998; Wegars 1995: 11.

Olive Creek. Grant County.
Olive Creek joins Clear Creek which flows into Granite Creek within the Granite Mining District. Grant County records and map information indicates Chinese miners worked the extensive placer deposits of Olive Creek. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; Steeves 1984: 201; U.S.G.S. quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Granite, Oregon, 1995.

Oriental Creek. Grant County.
Oriental Creek flows south into North Fork of John Day River within the North Fork Mining District. There are considerable mine tailings in the area and the name, suggesting placer mining by the Chinese. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; U.S.G.S. quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Kelsay Butte, Oregon, 1995.

Oriental Creek Campground and Trailhead. Grant County.
 Oriental Creek Campground and Trailhead is at the mouth of Oriental Creek. The unimproved Forest Service campground is in the John Day Wilderness of Umatilla National Forest, approximately 24 miles southeast of Dale on Forest Service Road 5506. Reference: U.S.G.S. quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Kelsay Butte, Oregon, 1995.

Prairie City Chinatown. Grant County.
The small and ephemeral Prairie City Chinatown served the Chinese miners who worked in the nearby Greenhorn and Quartzburg Mining Districts. Grant County records indicate that the Chinese owned mining claims there. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; McConnell 1979; Steeves 1984: 201; U.S.G.S. quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Prairie City, Oregon, 1996; Wegars 1995: 11.

Red Boy Mine. Grant County.
The Red Boy mine in the Greenhorn Mining District near Granite City was jointly mined by Chinese and Euro-Americans in 1882. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; Steeves 1984: 147.

Rock Creek. Grant County.
Rock Creek joins the North Powder River in the Greenhorn Mining District. The creek has experienced extensive mining activity by Chinese. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; U.S.G.S. quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Rock Creek Oregon,1984.

Ruby Creek Chinese Mine. Grant County.
Owned by the Chinese, the mine was a hydraulic mining operation in the Greenhorn Mining District. Two of the Chinese miners were hired to work as cooks at the Dixie Meadows Mine. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; Grant County, Oregon. History and Genealogy 1998; Steeves 1984: 148; U.S.G.S. quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Dixie Meadows, Oregon,1996.

Salmon Creek Chinese Placer Mine. Grant County.
Salmon Creek Chinese Placer Mine is in the Greenhorn Mining District near the junction of Placer Ditch on Salmon Creek approximately one mile northwest of Robinsonville. The area has been extensively mined. Reference: “Celestials: The Chinese in Baker County” 2004; Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; U.S.G.S. quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Vinegar Hill, Oregon, 1995.

Sparta Chinatown. Grant County.
Sparta Chinatown was in existence by 1874. It contained three stores, a doctor, temple, laundry, gambling houses and bordello. Reference: Wegars 1995: 11, 23. Photo.

Sparta Chinese Cemetery. Grant County.
The cemetery was on a little ridge across a meadow east of the old stone store building. All of the deceased were exhumed and returned to China. Reference: Wegars 1995: 23.

Susanville Chinatown. Grant County.
The short-lived Chinatown of Susanville supported the Chinese miners working along the Middle Fork John Day River in the Susanville and /Greenhorn Mining Districts. Reference: Eastern Oregon Mining Association 1999; McConnell 1979; U.S.G.S. quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Susanville, Oregon, 1999; Wegars 1995: 11.

Wild Granite Chinese Walls Historic Site. Grant County.
Wild Granite Chinese Walls Historic Site is on the north side of National Forest Service Road 73 approximately 1.6 miles north of the town of Granite. The specific place is representative of the rock stacking done by Chinese placer miners in their effort to retrieve placer gold. On December 20, 1981, the National Park Service certified Chinese Walls as a national historic site. (See Chinese Walls, Grant County). Reference: “Wild Granite Chinese Walls Historic Site, n.d.; U.S.G.S. quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Granite, Oregon, 1995.

References .


Barlow, Jeffrey and Christine Richardson. 1979. China Doctor of John Day. Portland, Oregon: Binford and Mort.

“Celestials: The Chinese in Baker County.” http://www.oregongenealogy.com/ Accessed October 18, 2010.

Eastern Oregon Mining Association. 1999. Oregon Gold Mining: Grant County Gold Districts. http://www.h2oaccess.com/ Accessed November 1, 2010.

Edson, Christopher H. 1974. The Chinese in Eastern Oregon. San Francisco: R&E Research Associates.

Grant County, Oregon. History and Genealogy. 1998. http://www.gesswhoto.com/ Accessed November 2, 2010.

Hagemeier, Heidi. 2004. “Ghosts of Chinatown.” The Bulletin. May 16: C1, C8.

“Lung On (1863-1940).” Oregon Encyclopedia. http://www.oregonencyclopedia.org/ Accessed March 6, 2011.

McConnell, Gregory. 1979. “An Historical Geography of the Chinese in Oregon.” Masters thesis. University of Oregon.

Ooligan Press and Chinese Consoldiated Benevolent Association. 2007. Dreams of the West. Portland, Oregon: Ooligan Press, Portland State University.

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. 2009. Kam Wah Chung Draft Plan. http://www.oregon.gov/ Accessed November 29, 2010.

Parks, Annette White. 1985. “Emmet White; Reminiscences of a Rimrocker, Part IV.” Oregon Historical Qaurterly. Vol. 86, Summer.

Powell, Linda. 1990. Asian Americans in Oregon. Corvallis, Oregon: Agricultural Fiscal and Personnel Services, Oregon State University.

“Recreational Opportunities. Blue Mountains Scenic Bypass.” U.S. Forest Service, Umatilla National Forest. http://www.fs.fed.us/ Accessed December 13, 2010.

Steeves, Laban R. 1984. “Chinese Gold Miners of Northeastern Oregon, 1862-1900.” Masters thesis. University of Oregon.

Wagner, N.S. 1945. Middle Fork of the John Day Placers. Oregon Division of Geology and Mines Information File Report.

U.S.G.S. Quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Big Weasel Spring, Oregon, 1998.

_______. Quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Dixie Meadows, Oregon, 1996.

_______. Quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Courthouse Rock, Oregon, 1980.

_______. Quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Granite, Oregon, 1995.

_______. Quadrangle 7.5’ series, Boulder Butte, Oregon, 1995.

_______. Quadrangle, 7.5’ series, John Day, Oregon, 1995.

_______. Quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Kelsay Butte, Oregon, 1995.

_______. Quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Little Baldy Mountain, Oregon, 1998.

_______. Quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Monument, Oregon, 1995.

_______. Quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Mount Vernon, Oregon, 1998.

_______. Quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Olive Lake, Oregon, 1980.

_______. Quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Prairie City, Oregon, 1996.

_______. Quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Rock Creek, Oregon, 1984.

_______. Quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Silver Butte, Oregon, 1980.

_______. Quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Suplee Butte, Oregon, 1992.

_______. Quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Susanville, Oregon, 1999.

_______. quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Trout Meadows, Oregon, 1995.

_______. Quadrangle 7.5’ series, Turner Mountain, Oregon, 1980.

_______. Quadrangle, 7.5’ series, Vinegar Hill, Oregon, 1995.

Wegars, Priscilla. 1995. The Ah Hee Diggings: Final Report of the Archaeological Investigations at OR-GR-16, the Granite, Oregon “Chinese Walls” Site, 1992-1994. Moscow, Idaho: University of Idaho Anthropology Reports.

“Wild Granite Chinese Walls Historic Site.” n.d. T8S Range 351/2 east of Willamette Meridian, Oregon. http://www.blm.gov/ Accessed December 15, 2010.