Chinese immigrants made major contributions to the agricultural and fishing industries of California. They reclaimed swampland in the Sacramento delta, raised and sold vegetables and fruit. Chinese farm labor was essential to the development of various crops that required special skill and care, such as harvesting and processing olives.

Chinese immigrants also provided essential labor for development of the wine industry in California. In communities such as Monterey, San Diego, and San Luis Obispo counties, Chinese inhabitants helped develop the industry for squid, abalone, shrimp, sturgeon, and various kinds of fish.

They also processed kelp and a variety of other marine products. By the late 1880s, there were over 2000 Chinese in fishing camps throughout the San Francisco Bay, Monterey, and San Diego areas.

Westward Expansion
San Francisco Chinatown
Communities outside San Francisco
Oroville Chinese Temple
Agriculture, Fishing and Related

Anti-Chinese Movement and Exclusion
Sentiments Concerning the Chinese
Finding Aid
About the Project

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The Chinese also provided services as laundrymen, cooks, servants, and gardeners. As early as the 1850's the first Chinese laundries appeared in San Francisco, and by 1870, these immigrants ran the majority of the laundries.

Chinese restaurants are also quite common, servicing first the Chinese community, and later other clients as cooks learned to prepare Western fare. Chinese also helped within industries such as textile mills and shoe and cigar factories.

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