Banner Caption: Glimpse of the apothecary preserved at the Kam Wah Chung Museum, John Day, OR.
From 2006-2007 The Bridges Foundation provided $18,500 to Oregon State Parks Trust supporting their goal to raise $1.5 million to help restore the 140-year-old Kam Wah Chung & Co. Museum, to assist with conserving the Willamette River Water Trail and to expand the interpretive center at Champoeg State Park.
The pioneer community of John Day was comprised of gold-miners, loggers, farmers and ranchers, welcoming the heyday of the 19th century. Built in 1866-67, the "Kam Wah Chung & Co." trading post soon became the center of the Chinese community in John Day. It was owned by immigrants, Ing Hay and Lung On. Today, the museum gives insight to the unique role the Chinese played in sharing their culture through their trading post and use of herbal medicine.
Ing Hay passed in 1952 after deeding the building to the City of John Day with hopes that it would become a museum enlightening others about the incredible effort made by the Chinese in this remote Western town. Regrettably the building remained boarded up and abandoned for fifteen years and was
rediscovered in 1967. The building offered a treasure trove of how the Chinese lived, worked, ate and received medical care dating back for nearly a century.
Today the Kam Wah Chung & Co. Museum contains one of the most extensive collections of materials from the century-long influx of Chinese immigrants in the American West. In 1973 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2005 it was designated as a National Historic Landmark.