Old Lumber is Missing: Artifacts from Stanford's Chinese Communities

Author(s): Christopher Lowman

Year: 2016


As development in Silicon Valley fills what appears to be empty land, it is crucial to question how land became "empty." In the absence of memorials, other physical traces must be considered as legacies. This is the case with the Chinese employees who lived and worked at what became Stanford University, itself made possible by Chinese workers on the Transcontinental Railroad. Living on the campus at the turn of the twentieth century, the Chinese employees impacted the development of agriculture, horticulture, and infrastructure, from growing and selling crops to the construction of roads and buildings and the creation of businesses that lasted many decades. Following their departure from campus, the houses where they lived were abruptly torn down and the sites abandoned. However, the landscape itself is not unmarked: traces are visible through a combination of landscape analysis, examination of artifacts, and archival documents. These physical traces as reminders of the Chinese diaspora and the lives of the people who experienced it and their presence and influence on the landscape.

Cite this Record

Old Lumber is Missing: Artifacts from Stanford's Chinese Communities. Christopher Lowman. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404406)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;