Weaverville Joss House State Historic Park


The Weaverville Joss House State Historic Park is home to the Temple of the Forest Beneath the Clouds. The temple is the oldest Chinese Temple in the state that has been in continuous use. Displayed in the temple are photos, art objects, mining tools and weapons that were used in the Tong War. The temple is still a place of worship, but it also plays the role of museum. In order to keeping the budget under control and ensure the temple would receive proper care, the California State Park System took control in 1956. Prior to 1850, the Chinese population in Weaverville was quite high. As the gold supply began to decrease, many of the Chinese left the area to work on railroad construction. By 1931, only 16 Chinese people lived in the town. It was through the efforts of Moon Lee, a business man from the age of seven, who saved the temple. The park system later added a visitor center near the temple, as well as a parking lot, landscaping and some structural upgrades. The Kuan Yin Pool was added in 1985. The temple was designated a State Historic Park in 1963 and is seen as one of the most important Chinese heritage sites in the state and in the country.

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