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Chinatown - Main Street, Jackson

Many Chinese came to Amador County and the ones settling in Jackson made their homes on the north end of Main Street.

In 1878, a heavy rainstorm washed away most of Chinatown. They rebuilt it, and as late as 1898, an insurance map of Jackson shows the presence of a Joss house at this location. The man pictured here, whose name is not known, was thought to be a resident of Jackson for over 60 years.


Before excavation could begin, for what we know the Spinetti Building on Northmain, workmen had to raze the old Kelly home dating back to the town's early days, and a smaller "Chinese" one-story dwelling. On the lot across the creek were the former Chinese Masonic Lodge, whose last use may have been as joss house - a Chinese temple - and one or two more celestial out buildings.

The Ledger marked this passing of the "last" of Chinatown, an enclave which once covered both sides of Main, generally from Placer Savings" to the fire house. Further, historic Chinatown occupied most of the habitable space across the creek, between Mattley's Hill and the main fork Jackson Creek, next to where the old Safeway is now.

"Chinamen," wrote this American, descriptively, "pass our home daily with their long bamboo poles on their shoulders, (and) hanging at each (end are) pots, pans, boots, dried ducks and mining implements of various kinds, with their singular hats and eir bag shaped pants and long pigtails making quite a contrast with our mode of dress."

Click here to return to our Jackson Tour or Click on our Miner to end your tour

Information, photographs courtesy of the Amador County Archives, The Historical Marker Database, The Chronicling America Database, and Larry Cenotto, Amador County's Historian