We always drive through the gold mining town of Weaverville yet I hadn\’t walked around it since I was a teenager and my husband never has. It was about time. Here we are, living so close and just pass up a historic gem of a small town which is on state route 299 on our way to the coast.
Taoist Temple, known as the “Temple among the trees beneath the clouds”
Nestled in the Trinity Alps of Northern California, Weaverville was settled by gold miners in 1850 and became the new temporary home to approximately 2000 Chinese miners.
The Chinese intended to return to China after making their fortune in America. Should they die in the United States before they returned to their homeland, the Chinese wanted their remains to be sent to China. The law, however, required their burial in California for sanitary reasons although the graves were very shallow so that the flesh would decay faster. The remains would have to stay buried for three years, but for a four-year period after that, the remains could be disinterred and shipped to China. After that four-year term expired, the remains were to be left undisturbed. For that reason, Chinese societies and organizations made certain that remains were properly disinterred and returned to China within four years. The museum still had these large burial urns that were being sent to China with the bones.
At one time they had three Chinese cemeteries. All but one were sent back to China. One wanted to remain in Weaverville.
I thought that was interesting.
Also, I learned more about the ChineseTong War which always have fascinated me. In 1854 – 4 camps of Chinese Miners came from different areas of China and were ferociously competitive. Basically, they had it out – once and for all. 2000 participated in it and 26 died. There were a lot of these Chinese Tong wars going on here in California during the gold rush.
Unfortunately, we were not able to go inside the Temple or Museum, which was closed due to Covid. It is a California State Park now. The outside grounds were assessable.
Weaverville is one of the best-preserved towns of the Shasta-Trinity Gold Rush era with 31 historic buildings still left. Back in the day, Weaverville supplied food, tools, equipment, and clothing to thousands of prospectors and miners over a large section of Northern California. Several wildfires just about wiped out the town several times in the 1850s, 1860s, 1870s but many of the old buildings were saved and what was lost, was quickly rebuilt.