Marysville’s Chinatown was once one of the most important Chinatowns in America. The early Chinese settlers called Marysville Sanfow, or “the third city,” meaning the third city by river to the goldfields. Two of the first four Chinese American judges in California were from Marysville as was the first Chinese American elected to the San Francisco Board of Education. The Marysville Chinatown was among the first Chinatowns built in California’s Gold Country and is the only one to survive to this day. Because of this, it is possible to view the full panorama of Chinese-American history through the viewpoint of this one Chinatown.
Author Bio: Author Brian Tom was born and raised in Marysville. He is the founder of the Asian American Studies Program at the University of California, Davis—one of the first (June 1969) AAS programs in the country. He wrote the AAS proposal, taught three of the first five classes, and hired the first tenure-track faculty. He practiced law in San Francisco for over 25 years. He is the founder and director of the Chinese American Museum of Northern California. Lawrence Tom was born in Marysville’s Chinatown. He was the comptroller for the California State Department of Transportation and is the tour director for the Chinese American Museum of Northern California
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