Eric Gleason (National Park Service) will present
Uncovering the Chinese Presence in The Dalles, Oregon
During the winter of 2011 limited archaeological excavation was carried out by a team of volunteers behind a 19th century commercial building in what was once the Chinatown area of The Dalles, Oregon. Five test units were dug to coincide with the placement of deck footings as part of building restoration. Several months later the field work was completed, having uncovered thousands of artifacts and several features. The archaeology, joined with subsequent archival research at the National Archives and from local newspapers has revealed an important record of Chinese life and history at The Dalles, which has previously received limited attention.
Eric Gleason is currently employed with the National Park Service, working at Fort Vancouver National Historic Reserve with the Northwest Cultural Resources Institute. He started his career in 1978 excavating at North Bonneville, Washington, went on to field school at the Hoko River Archaeological Project, and completed his education at Washington State University. He has resided in The Dalles, Oregon since 1989, where sometime later he fell for a historic building in need of "just a little bit of work". Over a decade later the work continues and has grown to include the small archaeological excavation back behind the building, the last standing structure of what was once a small thriving Chinatown.
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