A History of Chinese Americans in California:
Nevada City Chinese American Cemetery
The Nevada City Chinese American Cemetery is located in an uninhabited, densely wooded area, which was until recently covered by thick under brush. The boundaries of the cemetery and the exact number of graves it holds are unknown, but it is situated on the historic New Mohawk Quartz Mining Claim in Nevada County.
There are three pieces of architecture that identify the location of the cemetery.
1. An unpainted fence and gatepost. The gatepost is about 12 feet high and one foot square. Fragments of a wooden picket fence also remain.
2. A monument. This was originally about five feet high, of elaborately carved and shaped limestone, with a marble headstone in the center and a semicircular floor covering the grave.
3. A square burner for paper money. This was originally made of bricks, and was later covered with cement.
Nevada City was a famous gold mining center, from which a total of $8,000,000 in placer gold is said to have been taken. It had a large Chinese American community located in the northern part of the "Old Town," which is located one block east of Main Street. Chinese American miners, farmers, lumber jacks, railroad workers, merchants, and various other laborers and tradespeople inhabited the Chinese American section of Nevada City.
Among all the Chinese American cemeteries which once were so numerous throughout California, the Nevada City Chinese American Cemetery is one of the few that still has a burner for paper money and other offerings; parts of its original fence and gate also remain. It is the only one with a monument to a single individual. This individual died in 1891 and must have been quite wealthy and influential, but the name on the monument has been defaced by vandals. Because of its size and elaborateness, the monument was apparently intended as a permanent resting place for the deceased.
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