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Honor societies and fraternities are a fixture in U.S. colleges. Most often they use Greek letters for their names, and some have names in English. However, the men's honor society of Santa Cruz High School (Santa Cruz, California) is called "Hi Tow Tong".
A tong is the local form of a triad gang. Tongs were famous and the Tong Wars lasted decades in nearby San Francisco. They were ongoing when the organization was apparently founded.
According to a blog post containing much later text from the school student newspaper,
Hi Tow Tong Men's Honor Society was organized in 1910. The first initiation ceremonies were adopted embracing the sentiments of Confucius, Jesus and other world leaders to emphasize the thought that leadership ability carries with it the responsibility to serve.
The earliest primary source mentioning it that I have found is in Santa Cruz Evening News, May 21, 1910. According to the Evening News, February 9, 1915 the "Chink fraternity" was in full swing. Its members were all white.
How did an honor society get a name for a Chinese gang? Does "Hi Tow" (which looks something like a Wade-Giles spelling of Cantonese) actually mean anything?
The ying-chi are arguably the first official, independent prostitutes in Chinese history. Their acknowledged existence is credited to Emperor Wu, who was said to recruit female camp followers for the sole purpose of escorting his armies and keeping them entertained on long marches. Ying-chi literally means &ldquocamp harlot,&rdquo a title that was no doubt a flattering one in 100 BC.
Some sources question these girls&rsquo claim as the first Chinese prostitutes, though. It&rsquos said that the King of Yue set up the first prostitution camps, made up of the widows of fallen soldiers. These women were quite different from the later, upstanding courtesans that were so popular, whose role was to give a man &ldquofriendship.&rdquo The ying-chi are also different from the women who worked in government-run brothels&mdashthese much older institutions date back to somewhere in the seventhth century BC.
Ancient China & Tattoos: A Complicated Relationship
If anyone has had a troubled relationship with tattooing, it’s the Ancient Chinese. While the art has been practiced since the early sixth century, it has mostly been looked upon with distaste by the general population throughout the course of history.
The art of tattooing is known to the Ancient Chinese (and in some cases, still today) as Ci Shen or Wen Shen, which translates to the phrase ‘puncture the body.’ To most Ancient Chinese citizens, tattooing was considered detrimental, as it defamed the body. There were those who still partook in the art form, however, and perhaps didn’t help to edge the general populace into favoring the practice. These were more often than not individuals of lower moral standard – in a word, criminals.
Despite the art being largely uncommon, you can still find many references to the practice throughout Ancient Chinese history. In fact, the practice of inking the body appears in one of the four classic novels of Chinese literature, Water Margin. This body of work discusses the Bandits of Mount Liang, who were active during the twelfth century. Within the story, over 108 companions of the famous bandit Song Jiang were said to be covered in full body tattoos.
Another story of legend tells of the Chinese general Yueh Fei, who served the South Song Dynasty. According to history, during a battle with enemies from the north, Yueh Fei’s Field Marshall defected, betraying his troops and changing sides. In disgust, Yueh Fei left his post of service and returned home. As the story goes, he didn’t receive a very warm welcome. His mother, furious at him for resigning, decided to teach him a lesson he would never forget. She used a sewing needle to tattoo the characters jin zhong bao guo across his back. This roughly translates to ‘Serve His Country with Ultimate Loyalty.’ That’s some serious parenting!
The Ancient Chinese government had a hand to play in the reputation of tattooing, as well. Criminals were often marked with face tattoos and exiled for their punishment. According to the Han Shu (an official document on Punishment crafted by the Han dynasty in the early sixth-seventh Century), there were over five hundred crimes considered to be worthy of tattoo punishment – mo zui, or ‘ink crimes.’ This list included crimes such as adultery and robbery.
Confucius also spoke on the matter, implying that it is “honorable to preserve the body in the form created by the parents.” This highly popular religious model referred to any form of body defilement as immoral, helping to shine the light of negativity on this art form.
There were Chinese minorities, however, that partook in the art of tattooing quite avidly. These were tribes of people that had a different view of the art form and included the Dulong and Dai tribes and the Li people of Hainan Island. Tattooing to the Dulong tribe, which lived along the Dulong River and were often found to be under attack by neighboring tribes (perhaps due to their unique location). The women were often carted off during these attacks and utilized as slaves, often being raped along the process. As retaliation, the women began tattooing their faces in an attempt to disfigure themselves and make themselves less attractive, and in turn, less likely to be raped. This became the norm for this tribe, and at the age of maturity – often 12 or 13 years old – all women would be marked on their faces, almost as if a rite of passage. The Dai tribes used tattoos to accentuate their features – with the men tattooing along muscles, as if to draw attention to that area.
These tattoos were seen as a sign of strength and ferocity and often included a dragon, tiger, or other vicious beast. The women of the Dai tribes were most likely to be tattooed across their arms, between their eyebrows (a small dot, similar to the Indian practice), and across the backs of the hands. Again, tattooing was used as a passage into adulthood for children on the cusp. In the Li people, tattooing was kept generally within the female gender, however, has been seen as a medical treatment in men on occasion. Young women of the tribe would, over a four day process, be tattooed across the upper chest, neck, and face as a symbol of passing into full womanhood. This process would continue over the next few years, as the woman’s arms and legs would be tattooed. Their hands would remain tattoo free until after they became married.
These Chinese minorities were deemed uncultured and not accepted in mainstream society due to the excess of their tattoo practices.
Between religious stigmas and tattoo punishments for criminals, it is no surprise that the Ancient Chinese people looked upon those with body ink as barbarians and considered them uncultured and unwanted in their ‘civilized’ society. This principle has carried on into modern culture, with the practice of inking the body still being associated with criminals and gang life. Today, Chinese characters are a staple in Western tattoo parlors. Quite intriguing, given its rocky history in its country of origin. Perhaps food for thought?
How did an honor society get named as if it were a Chinese gang? - History
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (文化大革命), initiated by Mao Zedong as part of China’s social and political transformation in 1966, changed the cultural life in the country more than any other event since the assumption of power by the Communist Party. After previous failed campaigns, – the most prominent one being the “Great Leap Forward” – Mao saw the need to strengthen his position of power, believing that the Communist Party had become corrupt and compromised. Mao used culture as a political tool to rectify the Party and to make the system less elitist, but thereby he also irreversibly changed China’s culture.
The last of Mao’s ideological and revolutionary mass campaigns (1966-1976) was aimed at changing the country’s cultural values and to replace them according to his own thinking. Mao propagated that the country would have to get rid of the “Four Olds” (四旧), namely “old ideas (旧思想), old customs (旧风俗), old culture (旧文化), and old habits (旧习惯)”. It was primarily an attack on China’s intellectual elite, in which Mao saw his most ardent critics. The revolution and destruction of the old China were carried out by a mass movement of students and even schoolchildren, encouraged and legitimated by Mao. This student movement was called the Red Guards(红卫兵), groups of militant students who were encouraged by Mao to attack all traditional values and to publicly criticize party officials.
Teachers, officials, intellectuals, and cadres were persecuted, humiliated in public, beaten, and tortured. Universities and schools had to shut down theaters and films were banned and books destroyed if they did not comply with official propaganda. The development of the society stagnated for around a decade, particularly in the fields of art, literature, science, research, and education. Allegedly up to 13 million Red Guards destroyed as much as they could, including numerous temples, and shrines. Old culture included also religious customs and the traditions of minorities, in particular in Tibet and Xinjiang. Over 6,000 monasteries were destroyed in Tibet and the Red Guards burned Koran writings and shut down Islamic sites in Xinjiang. The first and most destructive period of the Cultural Revolution ended in 1967-68 as political opposition towards the raging students increased in view of the turmoil in the country.
Industrial production, already weakened by the Great Leap Forward, continued to decline and so did China’s economy. Mao himself decided to dismantle the Red Guards and to re-organize the party and state institutions. The PLA, led by defense minister Lin Biao – and also Mao’s designated successor – was given authority to contain the Red Guards and to take the control over the country again. The second phase of the Cultural Revolution, from 1968 to 1971, was the time when the army was in charge, but the clashes between the PLA and the Red Guards almost escalated into civil war. Mao simultaneously issued a call for the “Down to the Countryside Movement” (上山下乡运动) in which the army forced millions of urban Red Guards to move to the countryside, where they would cause less disruption.
The PLA, but mostly Lin Biao himself, gained increasing influence in domestic politics, which soon led Mao to mistrust him. After Lin Biao died in 1971, Premier Zhou Enlai took the lead to slowly improve China’s economic and domestic development again. China’s academic and science institutions gradually came back to life scholars and scientists were rehabilitated. However, most cultural life remained strictly controlled and radical communist forces, under the leadership of Mao’s wife Jiang Qing and the so-called „Gang of Four“ maintained their power through control of the propaganda. Zhou Enlai focused mostly on improving China’s foreign relations again, most notably helping to orchestrate the visit of President Nixon to China in 1972. It was not until Mao Zedong’s death in January 1976 that the remaining driving forces of the Cultural Revolution were overthrown, paving the way for China’s recovery beginning in 1978 under Deng Xiaoping.
Zhou had managed much of the state affairs until his death, until just a couple of months before Mao Zedong died, after which Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping, who had been purged twice during the Cultural Revolution, emerged again. Deng never held office as head of state but became China’s de facto number one between 1978 and 1992, leading the country (successfully) through the much-needed political and economic reforms. The youth on the countryside were allowed to return to their home cities, and starting from the 1980’s, the Chinese government slowly began to restore monuments, cultural sites or art artefacts. Universities and schools were renovated and given more autonomy again. In 1985, China signed the UNESCO Convention on World Heritage and established a State Bureau to preserve Chinese culture and heritage in 1988. However, this new care for retrieving and preserving the Chinese culture was – and remains – strongly influenced by the Chinese leadership’s new orientation. Instead of destroying China’s old culture, as Mao Zedong had advocated, the government was now trying to make better political use of its remains.
This also included the new culture of Chinese communism. Locations of historic milestones of the Communist Party have been transformed into monuments that attract Chinese tourists across the country. Millions of Chinese from all over the country travel each year to Mao’s mausoleum in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Deng in 1985 and the Central Committee in 1994 decided to initiate stronger “patriotic education,“ and the government in 2005 launched a policy to educate the citizens about their revolutionary past, and to promote tourism in various provinces in China. What became known as the ‘Red Tourism’ includes visits to heritage sites of the history of Communist China. In short, the Communist Party fostered the preservation of national culture mainly for its own purposes as a means of patriotic education and propaganda.
In addition, any attempts made after the Cultural Revolution and during China’s recovery to revive traditional culture again were motivated economically. Both the thousands of years of Chinese culture and the history of the Communist Party are worth preserving if that might serve to emphasize Chinese identity, even foster nationalism. But it also serves to generate economic profit. The tourism industry had not existed in China before the Mao era but slowly developed into a very profitable industry. Today, more than 100 million Chinese travel abroad.
The Chinese government’s cherry picking of cultural memory to either use it as a political or economic tool has not left much room for Chinese society to develop an authentic culture on its own. In addition, the control, restriction, and guidelines of the Communist Party continue to affect the cultural life of Chinese society. Art, books, newspapers and the Internet are subject to increasingly severe state censorship religious beliefs, traditions, and customs are allowed provided they do not conflict with the principles of the Communist Party or appear to be a threat to the state and society. Which parts of the old Chinese culture are worth retrieving is an ongoing ideological question debated within China, most notably in view to the revival of the old Confucianism ideas. The Chinese government led by president Xi Jinping encourages the revival of Confucianism, but older cadres still see it opposing their Communist ideology.
What kind of Chinese culture is developing from the interplay between historical memory, political propaganda and often driven by economic interests remains to be seen. What appears to be certain is that some of the damage done during the Cultural Revolution can never be undone. Mao led China into ten years of upheaval, inner conflicts, an estimated eight million dead, and political, economic and social chaos. Although China caught up economically rapidly after the Cultural Revolution, ten years of stagnation in the Chinese society’s development left gaps in education and knowledge about Chinese history and culture that remain irretrievable.
Numerous historic sites remain destroyed, temples demolished, books and pictures wiped out. It may be in the area of culture where the fact that the remnants of Chiang Kai-shek’s beaten army at the end of the civil war fled to Taiwan has its greatest merits: Chiang Kai-shek stole around 600,00 works of art mainly from the Imperial Palace and brought them to Taiwan—an irresponsibly risky act, yet probably saving them from what one can imagine would have happened to them during the Cultural Revolution. Until today these artefacts are exhibited in Taiwan’s National Palace Museum and can be visited – also by tourists from Mainland China.
Houses Ancient China for Kids
No matter which dynasty family was in charge in ancient China, homes all over China had a lot in common. Houses were laid out in a similar way. Most houses had pounded earth foundations and timber frames, with walls and floors made of brick, earth, or wood. The actual layout of an ancient Chinese building was similar whether it was the home of a rich family, a poor family, a temple, or a palace. Differences came in size of the house, and in the interior design and decoration. But the layout itself was consistent.
Most ancient Chinese houses were arranged around a rectangular courtyard. The rich build 3 connecting wings or bays, like three sides of a window frame. The fourth side of the frame was usually a solid gate. This created a rectangular courtyard, protected on four sides by the earth and wood structure of the house and gate. The poor could not afford that big of a house. Instead, the poor build several small houses around an open rectangular space, creating a shared courtyard.
The main door into the complex or home (or palace or temple) always faced south. The ancient Chinese believed that the proper building materials (earth and wood), an enclosed interior courtyard, and a front door facing south all combined to offer the residents beneficial energy.
Inside the homes were sleeping areas. Eating areas were wherever they felt like putting them that day. On good weather days, the eating area might be found outside in courtyard. On not so good days, the ancient Chinese used portable screens to create various areas inside their home, including a place for the family to gather to eat a meal. The most important part of the home was the space set aside to honor the ancestors of the family who lived in that space. The family brought presents of food and things they made to place on the shrine. After making this offering, the food was eaten by the family, and the goods were shared.
Kitchens were usually in a little area or building, separate from the house. There was always a special nook in the kitchen with a little shrine for the kitchen god.
Most Chinese houses had very little furniture. The one thing they almost all had in common was the Kang bed. This was a raised platform with a space underneath to build a fire, or run pipes filled with hot air or water. This was also the sitting and eating space. The rich had much more elaborate furniture, with intricate and beautiful design and decoration. Furniture was used in the bedroom, the study, and the hall. Furniture was made of mahogany, red sandalwood, and blackwood. Along the wall in the bedroom were clothing racks. Folding screens were used everywhere throughout the house.
The hall was the general living space. The most expensive furniture was found in the hall. The ancestor shrine would be located somewhere in the hall, against one wall. The more wealth the owner of a home, the more elaborate the furniture, and the fancier the hall. The emperor's hall was the most ornate of all (or heads could roll.)
During Tang times, households in the large capital city of Ch'ang-an had baths, heaters, mechanical fans, fountains, ice-cooled rooms, mirrors, musical instruments such as the harp, ceramics, spoons, goblets of gold and silver. The rich were waited on by servants and slaves. The pagoda look became popular during T'ang times. Homes of the wealthy and of the nobles were very large, with several rooms, built of wood and brick. Farmers homes were made of sun dried brick and bamboo. They were very simple, one room homes.
Although many dynasties came and went in ancient China, the layout of homes, temples, and palaces remained very similar.
Origins of Foot Binding
Various myths and folktales relate to the origin of foot-binding in China. In one version, the practice goes back to the earliest documented dynasty, the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600 BCE–1046 BCE). Supposedly, the corrupt last emperor of the Shang, King Zhou, had a favorite concubine named Daji who was born with clubfoot. According to the legend, the sadistic Daji ordered court ladies to bind their daughters' feet so that they would be tiny and beautiful like her own. Since Daji was later discredited and executed, and the Shang Dynasty soon fell, it seems unlikely that her practices would have survived her by 3,000 years.
A somewhat more plausible story states that the emperor Li Yu (reign 961–976 CE) of the Southern Tang Dynasty had a concubine named Yao Niang who performed a "lotus dance," similar to en pointe ballet. She bound her feet into a crescent shape with strips of white silk before dancing, and her grace inspired other courtesans and upper-class women to follow suit. Soon, girls of six to eight years had their feet bound into permanent crescents.
Tv American Artifacts The Chinese in America Part 1 CSPAN May 9, 2021 10:00pm-10:30pm EDT
Historian Charlie Chin visited San Francisco's Chinatown and told the story of the Chinese in America to a group of college students. The group visited the Chinese Historical Society of America, then took a tour through the streets of Chinatown. This is part one of a three part program.
Sponsor: C-SPAN | American History TV
TOPIC FREQUENCY United States 11, America 6, Britain 6, Canton 6, California 5, Sacramento 5, Us 4, Wisconsin 3, Brown 3, Hawaii 2, Canada 2, Sutter 2, France 2, Michigan 2, Chinatown 2, Pacific 2, Asia 2, San Francisco 2, Kentucky 2, Florida 2
Tv American Artifacts The Chinese in America Part 1 CSPAN May 15, 2021 10:00am-10:30am EDT
Historian Charlie Chin visited San Francisco's Chinatown and told the story of the Chinese in America to a group of college students. The group visited the Chinese Historical Society of America, then took a tour through the streets of Chinatown. This is part one of a three part program.
Sponsor: C-SPAN | American History TV
TOPIC FREQUENCY United States 11, America 6, Britain 6, Canton 6, California 5, Sacramento 5, Wisconsin 3, Brown 3, Us 2, Michigan 2, France 2, Sutter 2, Pacific 2, Hawaii 2, Canada 2, Asia 2, Chinatown 2, San Francisco 2, Sandy 1, Ning Paul 1
However, despite it being a sign of beauty in China, some experts say it made women more dependent on men.
Footbinding aimed to stop the growth of feet so they would not grow longer than three to four inches.
A foot measuring a perfect three inches was called a 'lotus of gold' while four inches was considered silver.
Millions of Chinese women bound their feet to turn them into 'three-inch golden lotuses' or 'San Cun Jin Lian'
Children's bone is easier to break and mould which is why their feet were often bound from as young as two.
The ritual would begin with the clipping of toe nails and soaking of feet in hot water to soften the tissue and bones.
After the feet were massaged and doused with alum, all toes except for the big one would have been broken and folded under the sole.
Ancient custom: Han Qiaoni who had her feet bound when she was just two-years-old
Having small feet was seen as beautiful and a status symbol - often the only way for a woman to marry into money
Painful: The custom of bandaging feet began in the 10th century and was done so Chinese women could have a chance of marrying into money
Sexual: Bound feet were also highly erotic in Chinese culture, with sex manuals describing numerous techniques to make the feet perfect
The toes would then be bound into place with a silk or cotton bandage.
The bandage would be removed every two days to allow them to be washed to avoid infection.
They would then immediately go back on and often tighter then before.
Girls would be encouraged to walk long distances so their weight would crush their feet into shape.
THE PAINFUL ART OF CHINESE FOOT BINDING
Shoes: Girls would use smaller sizes of footwear until their feet had shrunk to around four inches long
Throughout history, women have tried many techniques to make themselves as beautiful as possible, but foot binding may have been the most painful and debilitating.
In 10th and 11th century China, girls from the upper classes would complete the practice, but it soon became a technique used by all young women in society.
In Guangdong in the late 19th century, for example,the eldest daughter of a lower-class family would have their feet bound if they were intended to be brought up as a lady.
Many young girls used it because it was a mark of beauty and were was one of the main avenues for women to find a husband in China or marry into money.
Women, their families, and their husbands took great pride in tiny feet, with the ideal length, being around 2.75 inches.
It was also very erotic in Chinese culture with Qing Dynasty sex manuals describing 48 different ways women's feet could be bound,
The process began when girls were between four and seven years old, before the arch of the foot had developed.
Their feet would be soaked in a warm mixture of animal blood and herbs. Afterwards their toe nails were clipped and they received a foot massage.
Every toe was then broken except for the big toe. The broken toes would then be held tightly against the sole of the foot while the arch was forcibly broken.
Respect: Chinese women with the smallest feet were given the greatest chance of living a life of luxury and wealth
The foot was then wrapped tightly in cloth. Every day the foot would be unwrapped and wrapped again with the girls being put into smaller and smaller shoes until their foot was about 4 inches long.
The process was mainly performed during the winter months, because feet were more likely to numb they would feel less pain as a result.
Many of the foot bones would remain broken for years, but would start to heal as the girl grew older.
However they were still prone to repeatedly re-breaking, especially during teenage years when the girl's feet were soft.
Since they could not balance securely, older women who had bound feet were less able to rise from a sitting position and were more likely to fall and break their hips and other bones.
Infection was the another common problem with toenails in-growing and becoming infected.
Sometimes, this would mean the girl's toes would have to be peeled back and removed completely.
In 1874, 60 Christian women in Xiamen called for an end of the practice and were supported by the Woman's Christian Temperance Movement in 1883.
Intellectuals in China also began to realise this practice did not reflect well upon the progress of the modern rising world, suggesting it weakened the nation.
In 1912, after the fall of the Qing Dynasty, the new Nationalist government banned foot binding, but it was not until the Communists took power in 1949 that a strict prohibition was enforced.
A Legacy from the Far East
The Transcontinental Railroad was built by many thousands of workers from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, which created a blend of people that continues to define the nation to this day. One of the groups that literally took on the brunt of the work, were the Chinese laborers. Most of the Chinese workers, who numbered over 11,000 by the end of the project, were employed by the Central Pacific Railroad building out of Sacramento, California.
The use of Chinese labor started as an experiment. Fifty workers were initially hired, despite Nineteenth-Century stereotypes about their stamina, strength, and other traits that some thought would prevent them from completing the demanding 10-12 hour shifts of hard labor during a 6-day work week. The man responsible for the experiment was Charles Crocker, Chief Railroad contractor for the Central Pacific, who believed that the Chinese workers would be the answer to the labor problems the company faced. Many of the Central Pacific workers already employed by Crocker were leaving their jobs with the railroad to try their luck in the gold and silver rush. Labor unrest and strikes often arose in the workers' camps, which caused more headaches for the owners and construction bosses. Crocker's experiment proved successful in several ways.
The Chinese labor force easily disspelled the doubts of others by performing the tasks they were given at a good pace and with exceptional quality workmanship. In fact a crew consisting mainly of Chinese workers was eventually able to complete the task of laying 10 miles of track in one day, which is a record that still stands to this day. The Chinese workers were paid a lower rate than the other native and European workers, while often completing higher quality work and being more dependable.
Chinese workers prepare the grade before the track is laid. The grade had to be less than 2% in order to allow maximum loads to be pulled, without over-working the locomotives.
Some of the Chinese immigrants' cultural traditions proved beneficial in their role as railroad laborers. Camp life was challenging for the laborers living in their canvas tents alongside the rail line. Their living arrangements improved to more substantial wooden bunkhouses in the more extreme elements that were present in the mountainous regions. The work conditions changed quite often, but included extreme colds and heats, high winds, many forms of precipitation, and other conditions that could add a struggle to survive on top of the grueling heavy labor. Even after the Chinese proved their worth and their wages were raised to $30 a month, which was the same as other workers, the Chinese still had to pay for their own food, housing, and clothes. This was unfair, but allowed the workers to have a more healthy diet. Typically, each Chinese work gang had a cook that prepared the daily meals. The dried vegetables, seafood, and variety of meats combined with frequent washing of their clothes and daily bathing to keep the Chinese from getting ill and prevent the spread of disease. The Chinese tradition of drinking tea caused their cooks to boil the water and serve the tepid tea throughout the day. This tradition kept them from catching the diseases that would affect other workers after drinking bad water. Drinking tea also kept the Chinese from having the negative impacts that came from drinking alcohol, which was another more commonly used alternative to the bad water.
The Chinese eventually proved so effective that there were organizations that actively recruited Chinese labor within the United States and in China for the railroads. Unfortunately the Chinese workers were discriminated against by other workers and their supevisors. The money that was offered by the companies was a large enough incentive that the Chinese immigrants continued to join the companies even though they were never treated as equals. Much of the work that these Chinese laborers completed through the rugged and wild landscape has stood the test of time, and continues to stand out in its quality and durability after almost 150 years.
After the operation of the Transcontinental Railroad began, many of the workers stayed on to upkeep and make improvements to the existing lines as well as build new lines. This image shows a Chinese work camp along side the working railroad.
There were many Chinese workers that died during the construction of the railroad. There is historical documentation that at least 100 Central Pacific workers died in a single avalanche while building through the Sierra Nevada Mountains -- most of these workers would have been Chinese. As with other workers at both companies, deaths and injuries were not documented. The workers were often seen as another resource that the companies used and replaced as needed.
Many of the Chinese continued working in railroad construction after the first Transcontinental Railroad was completed. Some returned to China with the money they had earned and were able to do very well back in their native country. Most stayed in the United States and formed a new life for themselves here. Although many felt continued discrimination or were imprisoned, due to their differences, there were some who started their own businesses and communities within cities along the railroad's course, contributing to the unique strengths that came from the diversity within the United States.
The Chinese Arch stands out in the unique landscape that makes up Golden Spike National Historical Park. This arch is named after one of the Chinese work camps, which Transcontinental Railroad passengers saw as they crossed the country.
Golden Spike National Historical Park strives to honor the legacy of these early Chinese immigrants. Once the park received federal protection and began to develop facilities to accommodate public visitation, the administrators selected a unique Cuprous Quartzite stone, which is easily visible in the rock work of the visitor center's external walls. This rare light green form of quartzite is only known to be found in one local quarry as well as in China. This has brought a unique connection to the Chinese immigrants of the 1860s. The Historical Park also has a plaque that commemorates the Chinese workers that died and their accomplishments. The plaque was donated by the Chinese Historical Society of America. The Historical Park maintains a natural arch, which can be seen while driving Golden Spike's East Auto Tour. This arch was named the "Chinaman's Arch" by some of the first Transcontinental Railroad passengers when they rode by Chinese work camps that were located near to the arch. Finally Golden Spike National Historical Park honors the memory of the Chinese workers each year during its anniversary celebration. Staff members present a memorial wreath in commemoration of the workers who lost their lives during the construction of the railroad, including an undefined number of Chinese immigrants.
It has been clear in the large amounts of documentation and research concerning the Transcontinental Railroad, that this amazing feat was moved forward at a much greater rate and was heavily impacted by the contribution of the many Chinese laborers which added a unique aspect of the story that makes up the completion of this 1860's engineering marvel.