Chinese Temple Interior Restoration
For Greenspace - The Cambria Land Trust
In 2011, the Hind Foundation granted $23,500 to Greenspace – the Cambria Land Trust to restore the interior of a rare historical Chinese Temple and to provide interpretive signage for the building. The Chinese Temple is located in the Greenspace Creekside Reserve, which, in the 19th century, was the site of Cambria’s ‘Chinese Center.’ At the time, a Chinese community lived in the area, employed chiefly in mercury mines and harvesting seaweed. By 1920, the Chinese community had vanished; today, this plain building that has no identifiable 'Chinese' features is one of only five of these Chinese temple structures remaining in California. The property is open to the public, who can learn about the significance of the site through docent-led tours and interpretive signs.
Often visitors to the Greenspace Creekside Reserve encounter the temple and signage about its history, and then remark, “I didn't know there were ever Chinese in Cambria.” The restoration of the Chinese Temple promotes the awareness of our community’s history. Acting as a kind of totem, the Chinese temple brings awareness to the history of a people who were important in the area's development but are now gone.
This ordinary building, which has no identifiable 'Chinese' features, is one of only five 19th century Chinese temple structures remaining in California; the others, all north of Sacramento—at Oroville, Marysville, Weaverville, and Mendocino—have been restored.