NV County supervisors may approve historical designation for Truckee Chinatowns | SierraSun.com

NV County supervisors may approve historical designation for Truckee Chinatowns

TRUCKEE, Calif., — The Nevada County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday may approve a resolution that recognizes the Chinatowns of Truckee with a historical landmark plaque.

If supervisors pass a resolution, the Chinatowns with be recognized with a plaque that would be placed at the Old Truckee Jail Museum in the historic district, located at 10142 Jibboom Street.

The item is on the consent agenda and likely will be approved and not be discussed unless a supervisor requests further conversation.

The Nevada County Historical Landmarks Commission on April 21 voted unanimously to recommend to supervisors that the Chinatowns of Truckee be recognized with a plaque.

“The landmark will commemorate the Chinese community of Truckee, which contributed significantly to Truckee’s growth and sustainability,” said the Truckee-Donner Historical Society in a letter applying for the landmark designation. “Their contributions to Truckee’s development made in the face of continued discrimination are to be appreciated and acknowledged.”

Between 1867 and 1886, there were two Chinatowns in what was then the unincorporated Town of Truckee. According to the agenda for Tuesday’s meeting, the first Chinatown was located on the northside of the Central Pacific Railroad tracks of Truckee, before much of it was destroyed by several fires over time. Subsequently, the town established a committee led by Town Site Agent D. H. Haskell, who ultimately recommended the relocation of the Chinatown to its second location, south of the railroad tracks and across the Truckee River.

The Truckee-Donner Historical Society along with the landmarks commission detailed the challenges that Chinese immigrants faced including, but not limited to, poverty, challenges of public health, dangers of fire, bigotry and racism, and other harsh conditions, all while playing a critical role in the development of the region, transcontinental railway, and culture.

“Long overdue, the recognition of Truckee’s Chinatowns should be acknowledged publicly,” said supporting documents in the agenda. “While important, single focus on just the Chinese Herb Shop as the only remaining evidence of Chinese residents in Truckee is woefully deficient. This submission to NCHLC is to recognize and publicly honor contributions that the Chinese made to Truckee’s viability and sustainability. Besides railroad laborers, Census records reflect such occupations as wood choppers, merchants, cooks, grocers, miner, washman, doctors, agent, butcher, prostitutes, fish peddler, and launderers. Without such businesses to support the Chinese population and Truckee’s residents, Truckee may not have survived and thrived. The Chinese deserve due honor to be recognized part in the history of Truckee’s development.” 

The board may also pass a resolution approving a contract between the county and Pro-Ex Construction Inc. for the Nevada County Truckee Library Improvement Project for an amount of $172,700.

The board may authorize the board chair to execute the contract and direct the auditor-controller to amend the fiscal year capital facilities and library budgets.

The item is also on consent and will take approval from four of five supervisors to pass.

The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 23, at 950 Maidu Avenue in Nevada City. For those not able to attend, the meeting may be watched on Nevada County Media Comcast Channel 17 in western County and on Suddenlink Channels 17 and 78 in eastern County, or through the web at http://www.nevadacountyca.gov/boardmeetings and http://www.YouTube.com/c/CountyofNevadaCA.

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