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Chinese Temple and Museum Complex
Oroville

Chinese Temple and Museum Complex

The Chinese Temple in Oroville is a museum and active temple that showcases the history of the Chinese community in Butte County and Northern California, starting during California's Gold Rush and into the early 20th century. The Chinese Temple is a unique piece of California's cultural heritage and should be on every Butte County visitor's itinerary.

Read more about the Chinese Temple and other Oroville museums.

About the Chinese Temple

Built in 1863 to serve the largest community of Chinese north of Sacramento, this temple of treasures is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and also as a California Landmark. It was first opened to visitors during California's 1949 Centennial. In 1968, Tapestry Hall was built to display the extensive collection of embroidered tapestries, parade parasols, and other objects of beauty. A priceless collection of Chinese and American costumes is arranged to contrast the two cultures representing the decades from 1850 to 1930.

Admission

  • $3 Adults ($2.50/each for AAA members or groups of 15 or more)
  • Children Under 12 Free

The Chapels

  • The Main Chapel: Called the Liet Sheng Kong-Temple of the assorted deities. It is a place or prayer for various worships, including Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism
  • The Chan Room: A Confucian room for reverence of ancestors
  • The Moon Temple: The Wong Fat Tong Hall of the Yellow Buddha. It has a unique moon-shaped door and is above the Council Room
  • The Council Room: Served a variety of civil and cultural needs of the worker, such as banking, letter writing, discipline, and arranging for the burial of the dead

Other Rooms & Buildings

  • The Tapestry & Display Halls: Contain priceless tapestries, parade umbrellas, an Imperial Pillar rug of the 16th century, an historical bronze urn, and a display of "Shadow Puppets" made of donkey skin. Also displayed is a collection of early photographs and drawings that depict the Chinese history in Oroville
  • The Cullie Room: Showcases Chinese and American costumes from 1830 to 1940, which were a gift from Chinese missionaries Mabel Clay and Jessie Mae Henke
  • The Workers Hut: A replica of a typical Chinese miner's hut from the 1860s. It was constructed using materials from a local barn built in the same period
  • The Fong Lee Building: A replica of the Fong Lee Company building, which contains the original light fixtures, cabinets, cases, and artifacts from the medicinal herb and gold purchasing store
  • The Courtyard & Gardens: Many of the plants within the garden are of Chinese origin, including a Tissue-bark pine tree and bamboo, which can be traced back to the 1860s. A fish pond has lily pads that bloom in the summer. And in the corner of the courtyard stands a Chinese pumello grapefruit tree produces fruit
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