John Day, Oregon
June 19, 2007.
We are staying at Mountain View Travel Park in Baker
City. $24.79 FHU, shade and a nice enough RV-Park. It must
be a former KOA since they charge extra for everything, $2 extra for
wifi, $2 extra for larger sites, you get the picture.
This was a slow day for us and we got a late start. At first we were
undecided about what we wanted to do but finally settled on heading
out to John Day since we had not been out that way. So John Day it
was. By the way John Day is the name of a small east Oregon town.
One of the things we thought we would visit in John Day was the Kam
Wah Chung & Co. Museum.
When we arrived this is the sign we found.
The Kam Wah
Chung & Co. Museum (this building) was constructed as
a trading post on The Dalles Military Road in 1866-67. It served as
the center for the Chinese community in Eastern Oregon until the early
This is the original building and it now contains thousands of artifacts
and relics that illustrate the many former uses of the site. It was:
a general store, run by Lung On; an office for the famous herbal doctor,
Hay; a Chinese temple; a gathering (and gambling) place for
Chinese people throughout the region; as well as home to the proprietors.
There were hundreds of thousands of Chinese people that came to this
country seeking relief from famine, overpopulation, and the loss of
industry due to cheap goods from the West. By the time of the 1879
census, there were 960 whites and 2468 Chinese inhabitants of the
gold mining region of Northeastern Oregon.
This is Kam
Wah Chung's home and store, as seen from the side.
In 1887, two young immigrants, Ing
Hay and Lung, purchased this building. They lived there from
1948 and 1940 respectively. They were an important part of Eastern
Oregon history. The development of the economy and culture
in the region is still represented in the Kam
Wah Chung & Co. Museum. Originally, the building was intended
as a trading post on the main East-West highway of the period. Doc
Hay and his partner Lung On sold large amounts of mining supplies
and staple foodstuffs to the miners, both white and Chinese. As the
community changed, the men sold canned goods, notions, tobacco, cigars,
and cigarettes. Many of the goods were imported from China. There
is evidence that Chinese money was exchanged between the immigrants
and it was probably used to purchase goods from their former homeland.
During the prohibition, Lung On sold "bootleg" whiskey.
Examples of these types of goods are still in the Museum.
Day Valley on US-26 between Prairie
City and John Day, Oregon
Irrigation makes these valleys so lush and beautiful.
This was taken on US-26 a few miles east of John Day looking out
over the John Day Valley
at the Strawberry Mountains.
some pictures of the common teasel's brown flower heads we have been
seeing in eastern Oregon's wet areas generally with cat tails.
Mike & Joyce Hendrix
& Joyce Hendrix who we are
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