Temple History
Photograph: Chinese Temple pre 1968

Built in the spring of 1863, the Oroville Chinese Temple served as a place of worship for a community of 10,000 Chinese residents. Funds for the Temple and furnishings were provided by the Emperor and Empress of China and local Chinese labor built the structure.

A major flood in 1907 decimated the Chinese community so that most Chinese left Oroville. Some returned to China while others moved to Sacramento or San Francisco. The Chan Family then assumed responsibility for the Temple, It was deeded to the City of Oroville in 1937 and it was first opened to visitors at the time of California's Centennial in 1949.

A new addition to the temple was completed in 1968. Tapestry Hall was built to display the extensive collection of embroidered tapestries, parade parasols and other objects of beauty and value which characterize the best of Chinese folk art.

The temple includes three chapels, with the main chapel dedicated to the worship of various faiths including Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. Along with the temple is a magnificent garden, which is designed as a place for meditation, with plantings that originated in China.

The temple is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also a California Landmark.


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