The Museum

The Chinese American Museum of Northern California was founded in 2005 in the historic Marysville Chinatown. It is located at the intersection of 1st and C Streets, where the Chinese have fired the bombs for Bomb Day (Bokkai Festival) for over 150 years. The building where the museum is housed is an original gold rush building built in 1858.

The focus of the museum has been on the forgotten history of the Chinese in America. The Chinese built over thirty Chinatowns in California during the gold rush. Almost all have been destroyed or abandoned, so little exists to remind us of their importance in the early settlement of this state. The Marysville Chinatown is the last Chinatown of the gold rush era. It still has an active temple, the old Chinese school building, three Chinese associations and a traditional Chinese festival.

Part of that forgotten history includes the role Chinese Americans have had in the development of modern Chinese history.  Sun Yat-sen, the first president of the Republic of China, recognized the importance of the Chinese in America and visited the United States to learn more about democracy, raise funds, organize political opposition to the Ching dynasty and recruit help for building a new China. During two of his visits he stayed in the Marysville Chinatown.  Sun recognized that Chinese Americans had the requisite skills, including those in aviation, railroads, and telecommunications, to help China develop into a modern nation. As the relationship between China and the United States assumes greater importance, the early history of the meeting between these two great nations will merit greater study and understanding.


Museum Photo Tour here:


Museum and Marysville Chinatown Video Tour here: