China Quarter / Long Toms - Jacksonville, OR
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NW_history_buff
N 42° 18.860 W 122° 58.150
10T E 502540 N 4684677
This area was known as the 'China Quarter' and housed Chinese immigrants in the 1800s in Jacksonville, OR.
Waymark Code: WMGKKN
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 03/16/2013
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 4

Passersby through this part of historic Jacksonville might notice a series of three plaques that are centered around a re-creation of gold mining equipment called a 'Long Tom'. The largest of the markers is a placard placed by the Jacksonville Woodlands Association and part of a series of historical markers placed all around town. This placard reads:

China Quarter / Jacksonville, OR 1865

In the 1860s the view from this spot on Main street would have looked much different than it does today. During the the Gold Rush boom of the 1850s, Jacksonville's early merchants and shopkeepers located their businesses along this section of Main Street. After the town's commercial center was relocated to present-day California Street, this area became home to the hundreds of Chinese merchants and workers who had been brought in by Chinese labor bosses to work Jacksonville's gold mines, build roads, dig water ditches, and to construct the Oregon and California Railroad. After the gold mines played out and the construction projects were completed, the Chinese moved out and abandoned the old china Quarter. the crumbling buildings were eventually torn down, except for Jacksonville's 1880 City Hall--Oregon's oldest town hall.

There is another metal plaque located on a boulder where the Long Tom is located and reads:


In a two block area along Main Street near Oregon Street once stood wooden buildings occupied by Jacksonville's Chinese residents. Arriving in the 1850's to search for gold, these people worked hard and endured much. By 1890, as mining slowed and hostility toward them grew, the Chinese left Jacksonville. Soon, all traces of the "China Quarter" disappeared.

There is also a plaque that highlights the Long Toms and reads:


"Long Toms", with their extended water troughs, were more efficient in separating gold from gravel than gold pans and rockers. Six miners could process 500 buckets full of gravel a day through the "Long Tom" - twenty times as much as with a continuous stream of water, the men shoveled gravel into the device's upper end, while one man at the lower end stirred up the dirt as it washed down, separating and discarding the larger rocks. The heavier gold dust settled out behind the wooden riffles. Some Jacksonville miners added a perforated false bottom to double sort the gravels.

Chinese miners, who often re-worked abandoned gold claims, were rewarded for their hard work by finding gold that had been left behind by careless miners racing on looking for even richer diggings.

Placed by the National Park Service and the Jacksonville Woodlands Association
March, 2001

Historic Topic: Pioneer

Group Responsible for placement: Historical Society

Marker Type: City

Region: Southern Oregon

County: Jackson

State of Oregon Historical Marker "Beaver Board": Not listed

Web link to additional information: Not listed

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