Chinatown 1868 to 1920: Rock Springs, Wyoming

Author(s): A.Dudley Gardner

Year: 2017


The Chinese settlement in this nineteenth century southwestern Wyoming coal mining town has unique elements.  On September 2, 1885, when Chinatown was attacked and burned to the ground.  This attack was devastating but by 1885 the Chinese immigrant population that lived in Rock Springs had developed a well-ordered, sophisticated interaction sphere that extended to most mining and railroad communities in southern Wyoming.  This presentation looks at how the archaeological evidence from Chinatown indicates a distinct social structure had evolved in Rock Springs that was functional and interconnected. Both the archaeological and historical records give a good indication of how space was ordered in Chinatown and how Chinese individuals were linked together over a broad area to acquire critical resources.  That ability to acquire critical resources enabled Chinatown to recover from the tragedy of September 2nd 1885.

Cite this Record

Chinatown 1868 to 1920: Rock Springs, Wyoming. A.Dudley Gardner. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435371)

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Temporal Keywords
1868 to 1920

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 146