The Auburn Joss House
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.
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
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.