By Julia Costello, 2007
Like other gold seekers, the Chinese came to the Mother Lode seeking luck and riches. They worked in groups with their countrymen, settled together in towns, and sent money back home to their families – just like other early immigrants to California. In 1860, the population reached its height with Chinese comprising 22% of all of the residents in Calaveras County. While most of these were miners, towns such as Mokelumne Hill, San Andreas, Angels Camp, and Murphys developed “Chinatowns” providing services to those so far from home. Miners could find familiar food, dry goods, clothing, temples for worship, gambling, medicines, and camaraderie. When the gold ran out, and racial prejudice resulted in laws restricting Chinese immigration, the Chinatowns disappeared. By 1910, only 45 Chinese were recorded in Calaveras County.