Explore untold stories of Chinese contributions in Truckee

Submitted to the Sun

TRUCKEE, CA – The Sierra Speaker Series, a monthly event aimed at connecting individuals with the rich cultural and natural history of the Sierra region, is set to offer a captivating presentation on the often overlooked role of Chinese laborers in Truckee’s history. The event will take place at the Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center, providing an excellent opportunity for community members and history enthusiasts to learn and engage.

Event Details:

  • Date: October 14, 2023
  • Time: Doors open at 5:00 PM, presentation starts at 5:30 PM
  • Location: Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center, 12593 Donner Pass Road, Truckee, CA 96161
  • Admission: Suggested donation of $5
  • Refreshments: Light refreshments will be available
  • Parking: Free parking after 5:00 PM
  • Registration: No registration required

The presentation, titled “A Brief Look at the Chinese in Truckee,” will delve into the untold aspects of the Chinese community’s vital role in Truckee during the late nineteenth century. Little is known about the Chinese in Truckee and the environs, who worked on logging ranches to provide wood for the local mines and the Central Pacific Railroad, made charcoal for fuel, and established a small Chinatown. They also worked on the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad, Virginia and Truckee Railroad, and other standard- and narrow-gauge lines in the area. This presentation will delve into some of the unknown aspects of their lives and experience in the late nineteenth century as revealed in archival materials and recent publications.  A question-and-answer period will follow the 30-minute PowerPoint presentation.

About the Speaker: Sue Fawn Chung was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and received her doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley in 1975.  She taught for almost forty years at UNV. She is the author of The Chinese in the Woods: Logging and Lumbering in the American West (2015), In Pursuit of Gold: Chinese American Miners and Merchants in the American West (2013), The Chinese in Nevada (2011), and Chinese American Death Rituals: Respecting the Ancestors (2005). She is currently working on a book about Chinese railroad labor contractors.  She has written numerous articles and during the pandemic, has appeared in numerous Zooms (some available on Youtube), BBC programs, and television shows. She has curated several art and museum exhibits, consulted for the Forest Service and Park Service, and was the executive producer for a Vegas PBS history on Island Mountain, Nevada.Don’t miss this unique opportunity to explore the hidden history of Chinese contributions in Truckee. The Sierra Speaker Series is proud to present this informative and engaging event, which promises to be an enlightening experience for all attendees.

For more information about the event, please visit or contact

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