Chinese Diaspora Project 2019 - Passport in Time

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Oregon - Malheur NF
Closed! Placer Mining in the Southern Blue Mountains: Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project

Img_20180722_114446.jpg by Katee Withee, US Forest Service
Flags mark metal detecting “hits” at a suspected Chinese miner habitation site

July 15-19; 22-26, 2019

Volunteers must commit to at least one, 5-day session; may participate in both

Come on out to the Malheur National Forest this summer as we once again immerse ourselves in the past (and present) of this nation’s Chinese Diaspora! The Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project (OCDP) is a research partnership among the Malheur National Forest, Southern Oregon Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA), and the Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site, among other partners. The partnership promotes the study and public interpretation of the history of immigrant Chinese gold miners in Oregon. Metal detector survey and limited site testing will be used to determine the location of suspected Chinese miner habitation sites. Volunteers will provide valuable assistance to this multi-year project, which will operate in tandem with a SOULA field school. Field trips to local museums and Heritage sites on the Forest are planned, as well as a lecture series featuring speakers interested in the history of the Chinese migrant diaspora in the greater Northwest.

Check out the Ah Heng Placer Mine virtual tour to get acquainted with historical placer mining in the Southern Blue Mountains ( and we’ll see you in July!

Number of openings: 12 (6 volunteers per session)

Special skills: Volunteers must be able to hike for several hours each day, over potentially difficult terrain, and in a variety of weather conditions; previous metal-detecting, archaeological survey, mapping, photography experience, and/or knowledge of Chinese history in the region helpful, but not required

Please indicate on your application whether or not you own or can bring a metal detector – this is not required for participation, but it certainly helps!

Minimum age: 16 years old; under 18 with a responsible adult

Facilities: Tent or RV camping provided at no charge at nearby Lower Camp Creek Campground; vault toilets, picnic tables, fire rings, no shower facilities, no potable water; no hook-ups; fee camping available at nearby Bates State Park; RV hookups, potable water; amenities per lot may vary; nearby Prairie City and John Day are full-service communities with hotels/motels, AirBnbs, restaurants, and a full range of other amenities; volunteers responsible for own lodging/camping equipment/camping fees (if applicable), meals, water, and daily transportation to designated meeting area(s)

Nearest towns: John Day/Prairie City; 15 miles ; Mount Vernon; 9 miles ; Austin Junction/Bates; 5

Applications due: May 13, 2019

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