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The Auburn Joss House

Any celebration of Auburn's history would be incomplete without information on early Chinese residents, and their role in town development and growth. The Auburn Joss House, built in 1909 and located on the corner of Sacramento Street and Brewery Lane, is one of the best-known buildings in Old Town Auburn and symbolizes the role of the Chinese in local history.

The joss house represented the center of Chinese community in towns throughout the Mother Lode, and in California, during the 19th century and later. The joss house would be the first community building constructed in the Chinese settlements, and it served as a center for worship, education, community fellowship, and a place to find letter-writing and business services. The joss house also served as the place to discuss legal matters, as Chinese immigrants had no legal standing in America, well into this centyr.

While Chinese immigrants suffered legal and actual discrimination, they were major participants in California's early mining industry. Large settlements were located throughout the Mother Lode, in Auburn, Dutch Flat, and Nevada City, among other towns. The Chinese  are also well-known for their essential role in building the cross-continental railroad across the Sierra.

Auburn's Joss House is being restored as a museum, through the work of Auburn residents Richard and Katherine Yue and other community residents, visitors, and those who value the Chinese role in California and U.S. history.

1998
Auburn GRD
The Committee thanks Foothill.net for generously hosting this Web site.

For further information about the Auburn Joss House, call 530-888-6483.