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Sunday, July 4, 2010

June 30, 2010 Kam Wah Chung

JoAnne Morgan

This morning we left the Clyde Holliday State Park and were on our way to Baker City…however we had to - and I mean had to stop at this hidden gem - The John Day Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site. The name means “Golden Flower of Opportunity.” The building was constructed in 1866-1867 and served as a center for the Chinese Community in Eastern Oregon who helped build the American West during the gold rush days. It contains artifacts and relics from its various uses; a general store, religious center, and office of the famous doctor of pulsology and herbal medicine Imn “Doc” Hay and the skilled merchant Lung On.

I could go on and on about this place but if you are interested in the history of this building and these two remarkable men, the best thing to do would be to “Google it.” I should mention, the only photos you could take inside the building (with the threat of being removed) were without a flash…and they were serious! See Photos

Traveling on, we headed towards Baker City, OR where we toured the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. The movie presentation was extremely informative and the displays were awesome. Before leaving, we checked out some of the original wagon wheel trails. These were some astonishing people walking over 2,000 miles to make new homes for themselves.

Taking a drive to the city we checked out many of the historic structures, however I have to say, for a city that touts itself as being “historic” they have not preserved their history.

Tonight we stayed in a commercial RV park in town preparing for our next day adventures. JM