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Chinese Roots: Sketches of Life in the Washington Township

by Alicia Reyes on 2019-01-15T01:00:00-08:00 | Comments

The archives of our historic towns are rich with the stories of immigrants who came before us. Chinese Roots brings to light one group — the early Chinese people whose presence is first recorded around the time of the Gold Rush.

Hidden histories have been unearthed from the accounts of vineyards, orchards, nurseries, farmlands, and the salt and sugar industries. The records are often mere entries in nursery ledgers, in the ranch records of labor hired for harvesting fruit, in the census records, or in the smiles of winery workers at a China Camp. Other records are wonderful robust personal accounts, written about growing up here in the Washington Township — hunting and fishing, high school sports and hijinks, and endless farm work. These small sketches and accounts create a rich picture of life in the Washington Township.


January 12 – March 10, 2019, at the Maurice Marks Center (2nd floor) and main floor exhibit case at the Fremont Main Library.


Monday, January 28, at 7 pm, Fremont Main Library

Conquering the Sierra; Putting America in Motion

Thousands of unknown Chinese workers played a vital role in building America’s first transcontinental railroad across a tremendous mountain range. Phil Sexton, park director for California State Parks, Sacramento, will talk about the construction of the railroad and its profound effects on both the nation and California.

Monday, February 11, at 7 pm, Fremont Main Library

Archaeology at Stanford’s Arboretum Chinese Houses

Christopher B. Lowman will speak about how an excavation at Stanford University reveals the lives of early Chinese immigrants and their relationships with other Bay Area communities and with China. Christopher is a graduate student at UCB and works on archeological excavations and museum research.

Saturday, February 23, 10:30 am, Fremont Main Library

Family Legacies — Legend and Verification

Jeanie Low, author of China Connection: Finding Ancestral Roots for Chinese in America, will speak about how to uncover family history through immigration, naturalization, mortuary, and other records.


Sponsored by the Chinese History Project of the Washington Township Museum of Local History, a committee focused on the history of the early Chinese; the Roeding Archives of the California Nursery Company; the Shinn archives managed by the Mission Peak Heritage Foundation; and the Fremont Main Library. The Fong family has kindly shared photos and information.

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