Chinese Camp is the remnant of a notable California Gold Rush mining town. The settlement was first known as "Camp Washington" or "Washingtonville" and one of the few remaining streets is Washington Street. Some of the very first Chinese laborers arriving in California in 1849 were driven from neighboring Camp Salvado and resettled here, and the area started to become known as "Chinee" or "Chinese Camp" or "Chinese Diggings".
At one point the town was home to an estimated 5,000 Chinese. Consequently, there were several Joss Houses. The Chinese Camp post office was established in the general store on April 18, 1854. This building is currently vacant, after having been , and a post office is in operation on a plot of land rented from a local resident.
An 1892 Tuolumne County history indicates that, in 1856, four of the six Chinese companies (protective associations) had agents here and that the first tong war (between the Sam Yap and Yan Woo tongs) was fought near here when the population of the area totaled several thousand. The actual location is several miles away, past the 'red hills', near the junction of Red Hills Road and J-59.
An 1860 diary says Chinese Camp was the metropolis for the mining district, with many urban comforts. While placer mining had played out in much of the Gold Country by the early 1860s, it was still active here as late as 1870. An 1899 mining bulletin listed the total gold production of the area as near US$2.5 million.
coordinates : 37°52'15.30"N 120°25'54.13"W
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