Weaverville and Joss House

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. 

Weaverville is known for having an unusual circular iron stairway leading from the sidewalk to the second floor because the upper and lower stories had different owners. The first stairway was built in the summer of 1860. The thirty-one historic buildings include examples of most of the architectural styles common to the Northern California gold mining towns of the 19th century – 
Wouldn\’t you know it, they were doing road repairs – traffic at times would back up. We plan to go back when it\’s cooler (It was 102 that day) for their October Harvest Festival is not sooner. I saw some cute ideas I could purchase for Christmas gifts. 
We did the self-guided walking tour up and down the main street (hwy 299) and visited the Trinity County Historical Museum for about 2 hours. It was so hot. I don\’t think it was the altitude making me slow down – it\’s at 2501ft.  I think I need to lose some weight. I was huffing and puffing. Plus many of the shops do not have air conditioning or maybe just a little window unit. Ugh! I am so spoiled. The smell of the hot tar was also getting to me. 
The main drag is heavily traveled since it is the western route to the coast – the roads are curvy single lanes sprinkled with a few passing lanes. It is this way all the way to the coast to Eureka and back to Redding to Burney. 
Just down from Weaverville, you get into the white water rafting on the Trinity River. Mostly classed from 2-4.  Navy and his wife, Sara took a white water rafting and are encouraging us to do it. It\’s on my buckle list. 
We finished our day enjoying a big plate of freshly minced garlic on my homemade fries at the Trinity County Brewing Company – a 7 barrel brewery and pub specializing in their local craft beers – OMG, those garlic fries! There must have been 6 cloves of garlic sprinkled on them. LOVE GARLIC! The husband had a beer, and I had a nice ice-cold Coke. 
So where will we go next week? I have no idea. After all the shutdowns, we just have been feeling it was important to visit these small towns that have been hurt by the shutdowns – buying gifts and purchasing food. Plus I am a sucker for gold rush history and old ghost towns. While Weaverville is not a ghost town with a population of 3500, it is still a little \”nugget\”  worth visiting. 

10 thoughts on “Weaverville and Joss House

  1. Anonymous July 31, 2021 / 12:53 am

    It sure is a nugget worth visiting! I would love to visit here. So much history and such a cute town!


  2. Anonymous July 31, 2021 / 1:10 am

    Great pictures, loved seeing the stairs again. My dad went up to the Trinity River for years to go fishing for about a month in October. He would take his 5th wheel and stay at a campground called Big Foot. Which I believe is gone now due to fire. My mom would go too until the last few times he went. I went up there for the weekend a few times and we would go into Weaverville. We had lunch at a restaurant that was right by the stairs there. This was probably 20 years ago now. Saw the temple as well but was not open when we were there to go in.


  3. Anonymous July 31, 2021 / 6:44 pm

    That's a neat little town. So much history. I enjoyed the tour too.Eating keto (no sugar, low carb) the one thing I really, really miss is having an occasional beer. I love dark beer during the hot months. Nothing like it.It's been too hot here to do anything outside unless it involves being wet and out of the sun. I'll be so glad when it's Fall. Guess I'm spoiled too. *lol*So sorry about the shutdowns. We're wide open here and everything is fine.Blessings. xx


  4. Anonymous July 31, 2021 / 9:37 pm

    If your talking about the Big Foot Campground in Junction City, (near Weaverville) it is still there. Although there are many campgrounds or RV parks named Big Foot so its possible its not the same. Your memories sound nice. We used to camp at Trinity Lake and we'd go into Weaverville. Good times.


  5. Anonymous July 31, 2021 / 9:40 pm

    I'm not fond of the local craft beer phase but my sons and my husband really enjoy them. Their are a lot of the local beers around here. Yeah I know Keto – was on that for years before they had all the keto bread and stuff on the market today. Its the only eating program that worked for me.


  6. Anonymous July 31, 2021 / 9:41 pm

    Yeah there is a lot of gold rush history around here.


  7. Anonymous August 1, 2021 / 9:36 pm

    Yes it was by Junction City. When my folks went there it was owned by a lady named Edie if I remember correctly and after she passed her son Jamie owned it.


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