After the Railroad: An examination of Chinese in Sandpoint, Idaho

Author(s): Molly Swords; Mark Warner; Margaret Clark

Year: 2017


Like other western American railroad towns, Sandpoint, Idaho, saw an influx of thousands of Chinese workers during railroad construction in the twilight of the 1800s. Most workers moved on as construction of the railroad continued down the line. Examination of a Chinese laundry excavation provides an interesting snapshot of the lives those workers who stayed and made Sandpoint their home. This business was also a residence and the collection provides an opportunity to study both the private and public lives of these Chinese. The co-mingling of traditional Chinese artifacts with distinctly American artifacts coupled with newspaper articles from the time, pose questions about the cultural adaptation of the dwellers, community integration, and tolerance. 

Cite this Record

After the Railroad: An examination of Chinese in Sandpoint, Idaho. Molly Swords, Mark Warner, Margaret Clark. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435703)


Temporal Keywords

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): 637