“Uncovering the Chinese Presence in The Dalles” is the title of a delivered by Eric Gleason about one Oregon’s 2013 Most Endangered Places. The history of Chinese settlement in The Dalles, Oregon, begins in the 1850s and 1860s, however it was not until the 1880s that the Chinese community began to concentrate on a block long stretch of East First Street, that would come to be known as Chinatown. Gleason will discuss the early development of The Dalles and the formation of Chinatown using maps and photographs and supplemented by archival documents from the US National Archives. Test excavations of a single building in Chinatown revealed portions of a cellar hole, filled with layers of artifacts that chronicle a century of intensive occupation.
Though The Dalles Chinatown has been abandoned for more than 50 years, numerous stories can be revealed, many of which are still sealed below an asphalt parking lot.
Gleason spent his formative years in Oregon and has been employed as a field archaeologist with different government agencies excavating and studying historic sites. He owns, is excavating, and preserving one of the historic Chinatown buildings in The Dalles.
Free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://www.columbiaarts.org