online book
Weaverville Chinese family
Five Views: An Ethnic Historic Site Survey for California



Early Contacts

Historic Sites
Selected References


A History of Chinese Americans in California:

Confucius Church and Community Center
El Centro, Imperial County

The Confucius Church and Community Center is a one-story brick building. Its flat roof projects over the sidewalk, and is supported by five pillars. The bricks at the front of the building are covered with stucco in order to resemble adobe. The only decorative touch is a tile roof edge at the front of the building.

The building is located in the main commercial section of El Centro, where the historic Chinese American community was located. The original Confucius Church and Community Center has been torn down. The present church building dates from around 1940, and is the last building of the Chinese American community in El Centro.

Chinese Americans were in Imperial County before it became a county in 1907. They were kept from mining by White miners, and were excluded from agriculture by early development of agribusiness interests in Imperial County. Most of them became small storekeepers and tradesmen.

The History of Imperial County gives the account of a traveler who visited Imperial County in 1901. She mentions that her stagecoach stopped under a tent (apparently the stagecoach station), "Kept this time by a Chinaman in payment of the rent, wood and water being furnished him by the owners."

A sizeable Chinese American community developed in El Centro, and the heart of the community was the Confucius Church and Community Center. There were also a Chinese school and some patriotic organizations. Many of the younger generation moved away from El Centro for better opportunities elsewhere. This building is the last one related to the historic Chinese American community in El Centro. Wong Sing, the oldest person in the community, is principal of the Chinese school.

The building was originally designed with four doorways flanked by large store windows, to house four small stores. It has been altered to include only two doorways, and the windows have been painted over for privacy.

Confucius Church and Community Center
Confucius Church and Community Center, El Centro, Imperial County

NEXT> Double Springs Courthouse

online book Top

Last Modified: Wed, Nov 17 2004 10:00:00 pm PDT

ParkNet Home