Unearthing Sandpoint’s Chinatown: the Archaeology of Sandpoint, Idaho’s Overseas Chinese

Author(s): Molly Swords

Year: 2015


Established in the early 1880s, Sandpoint, Idaho became a bustling railroad and lumber town with commercial businesses sprouting up along the Northern Pacific railroad tracks. Overseas Chinese came through the town when building the railroad, but quickly moved on along with the construction. Who then, were the Overseas Chinese that came and settled, making Sandpoint their home? Archaeological investigations of the original town site uncovered a structure referred to as Sandpoint’s "Chinatown" within the city's historical records. While this "Chinatown" area may be small, excavations yielded a plethora of artifacts that give a glimpse into the lives of these Sandpoint residents. This paper will discuss the artifacts recovered from this "Chinatown," and shed more light on the lives of Overseas Chinese in northern Idaho.

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Cite this Record

Unearthing Sandpoint’s Chinatown: the Archaeology of Sandpoint, Idaho’s Overseas Chinese. Molly Swords. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396675)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -169.717; min lat: 42.553 ; max long: -122.607; max lat: 71.301 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology