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About Chinese Camp

Chinese Camp, a quaint remainder of a 19th century mining town, sits at 1250 feet in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. Grassland, studded with patches of trees, extend for miles in every direction, across a labyrinth of jumbled hills. The elevation rises eastward in successive ridges, where brush and then forests cover the ground.

Originally known as Camp Washington, a group of 35 Chinese miners were accepted here, after being driven out of Camp Salvado, just on the other side of Rocky Hill. The style of gold mining in this area was called surface mining, where surface dirt was run through a placer, which washed away the dirt, leaving the gold. The dirt was collected from hillsides or gulches and carried to the placers. Because of the lack of water in the area, claims were abandoned by many other miners, and the chinese miners, with patience, were able to work them profitably. More Chinese miners congregated here, and in 1854, when the post office was established, it was named Chinese Camp.

While thousands of people lived here, at its peak, Chinese Camp today is home to 149 people. California Highway 120 passes through it, heading towards Yosemite National Park.

Street Index

Church Street
Curry Street
Maiden Lane
Main Street
Red Hills Road
State Highway 120
Washington Street

In Chinese Camp:

73 Photographs

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