There is a big push to raise money for a permanent monument on the corner of First and E Streets in Old Town Eureka to honor the history of the Chinese community in Humboldt County.
“One of the things that we found when we heard about this story was that the newspapers would have the story and then the interest and knowledge would just die down. And another ten years later, it would go out and then we keep going like that,” said Sheri Woo, who is on the monument committee. “So what we were hoping to do is have a permanent remembrance of this story.”
The Eureka Chinatown Project has dedicated its work to raising awareness of the expulsion of events that displaced the Chinese community from Humboldt to San Francisco in 1885. To honor the Chinese community, organizers are working to build the Moongate Of Giving monument.
“There was a Chinatown here in Eureka at that time,” Woo said. “You know, there was a lot of racism, violent racism–and in 1885, there was just this ramp of racism. The story goes that there was a city councilman who was accidentally killed with a stray bullet near Chinatown, which was Fourth, Fifth, E, [and] F streets. So they kicked the Chinese out.”
The Eureka Chinatown Project shares its history through tours so you can hear the complete story, not just pieces of it. The project also worked to create the historic Chinatown mural on G Street.
The Moongate Of Giving monument will include a timeline of the Chinese population in Humboldt County from the 1880s to the present time, a Moongate which is traditional in Chinese gardens to designate the movement between two spaces, a Ginkgo and Chinese magnolia trees and a poem board.
“Through HAPI (Humboldt Asians & Pacific Islanders in Solidarity) and ECP (Eureka Chinatown Project), it’s been wonderful to, you know, get to know a lot of the other Asian Americans and work together,” said Amy Uyueki. “All come together for this goal of being able to share this history. So, that means a lot.”
Organizers have raised half of the $254,000 for the monument. They hope to break ground by late summer of 2024. For more information about this project go to hapihumboldt.org.