The Chinese came to California by the thousands working long hours for low pay. Fast ships called brigantines brought the chinese to San Francisco. The brigantine, Eagle ,brought the first shipload of Chinese workers to San Francisco. They then traveled overland to Sierra County. There were over 400 Chinese in Goodyears Bar in the 1850s, with a settlement in the North East end of town on the meadow known as the
Wright Ranch .
Another settlement was on the point across from the mouth of Goodyears Creek. From this point, just downstream was built a Joss house .
The dictionary defines Joss House as a chinese temple or shrine. Ramshorn was a settlement point as well. Hand stacked walls 18 to 20 feet high are not uncommon.
The gold found must have been very rich for the Chinese to spend as much time hand stacking so many rocks. The Chinese were very good miners accounting for much of the gold found in Sierra County. There is no way to know how much gold was found by the Chinese as they were very secretive about their findings. This was probably due to the fact that others were always trying to rob them of the gold. Cy Rollins is pictured below. Line Gilman is in the picture below.
Along Goodyears Creek are found house foundations where the Chinese had their houses still standing along with old raceways or tailraces for their sluceboxes. The last Chinese to live in Goodyears Bar was Ah Jake. Ah lived on the windy point just above the old Drury Ranch, one mile north of Highway 49 on Goodyears Creek Road. He was much loved and respected by the local people for his helpfulness. On one occasion, when Josephine Tomala was returning to her house in the snow, her horse stumbled and threw her. This was seen by Ah Jake and he went to see if she was okay. Luckily he found her well and walking home. The Chinese of Goodyears Bar were burned out by persons unknown in the late 1890's while most of them were in Downieville celebrating the 4th of July. This was probably done by white miners that thought they had more right to earn a living here. From here, many of the Chinese went to San Francisco. In 1853, a Chinese man was caught robbing the butcher's shop in Goodyears Bar and received 15 lashes in front of the St. Charles Hotel.
Cy Rollins hosted a Chinese Artifacts display at the Goodyearsbar School House in the summer of 2003. Following is the table laid out with many interesting Chinese Artifacts.
The big brown rice container is owned by Pam and Neil Kaylor
of Goodyears Bar. The author- Cy Rollins would like to thank the Kaylors for allowing this item to be displayed. Number 9, horse rein holder, has an imprinted Chinese dragon.
|1||white sake jugs|
|2||black ginger jars|
|3||black sake lying down|
|5||middle brown rice container|
|6||2 Chinese toy hachets|
|7||gold dust blower|
|9||horse rein holder|
|11||other food container|
www.GoodyearsBar.com is where the North Yuba flows. We love the history and the life in Sierra County, California
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