Jacksonville Chinese New Year
Year of the Rabbit 2011
The Southern Oregon Chinese Cultural Association staged a Chinese New Year celebration in the historic mining town of Jacksonville, Oregon, on February 12, 2011.
With the help of local sponsors, the SOCCA decorated the entire town with lanterns and banners. The celebration included a delightful parade down California Street, plus lectures, exhibits and food. The grand marshall was Paul Fong, a California assemblyman from San Francisco. The lion dancers also were from San Francisco.
There were many local participants, including school children. Spectators came from throughout southern Oregon and elsewhere.
|Visit the Jacksonville Chinese New Year Gallery »|
Jacksonville's history dates to 1851 when gold was discovered on nearby Jackson Creek. Chinese miners who came north from San Francisco to mine gold established a Chinatown. Jacksonville is in southern Oregon six miles west of Medford. I'm familiar with the area because my first newspaper job was at the Medford Mail Tribune. That was a long, long time ago.
The colorful and highly enjoyable New Year celebration is held annually. The SOCCA is a relatively new but impressively energetic organization, established in 2005.
Candy and I were pleased to be invited to participate. I gave two well-attended lectures at the local Presbyterian Church based on my book. We stayed the weekend in one of the Jacksonville Inn's very comfortable luxury cottages. The inn itself dates from 1861. Jacksonville has retained many of its original buildings, resembling Williamsburg, Virginia, with the major difference that Jacksonville is a real town.
“I guess if they had killed 31 white men, something would have been done about it, but none of the jury knew the Chinamen or cared much about it, so they turned the men loose.”
— George S. Craig, who discovered some of the bodies of the murdered Chinese miners.