This year marks the fifth year of the annual two-day Chinese Remembering conference held in Lewiston, Idaho. Each conference relates the history of the Chinese in Idaho and the Northwest, with the second day of the conference dedicated to visiting sites in Hells Canyon that were occupied by the Chinese.
One of the sites at Deep Creek — where the conference conducts a healing ceremony each year — is where 34 Chinese miners were massacred for their gold in 1887. The site has been officially designated by the Oregon Geographic Names Board as “Chinese Massacre Cove.”
With the help of a planning committee — made up of representatives from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, who took part in past Chinese Remembering conferences — contributions from local organizations and individuals, and the support of the U.S. Forest Service, the committee made numerous trips into Hells Canyon on jet boats and transported the large granite memorial to the site by helicopter.
The planning committee began to actively pursue the idea of establishing a permanent memorial after the 2011 Chinese Remembering Conference. Washington representatives in the committee include Chuimei Ho and Bennet Bronson from Bainbridge Island, and Bettie Luke from Seattle. The committee made numerous trips into Hells Canyon on jet boats before transporting the large granite memorial to the selected site.
The words on the memorial, “Chinese Massacre Cove — Site of the 1887 massacre of as many as 34 Chinese gold miner — No one was held accountable,” are written in English, Chinese, and Nez Perce, to acknowledge the first inhabitants of the area.
The granite memorial, made in Lewiston, Idaho by Garlinghouse Memorials, was loaded onto a flatbed truck and driven to Joseph, Ore., then driven to Dug Bar, where Chief Joseph and his band crossed the Snake River in 1877 before the Nez Perce War. From there, a helicopter picked up the memorial from Dug Bar and flew it to the site where it was installed on a native rock. A dedication for the memorial will take place on June 22. (end)
For more information, visit www.chineseremembering.org.