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Idaho City - Pon Yam House (interior)[2]

The Pon Yam house is located in the historic gold rush town of Idaho City, Idaho.

Between 1860 and 1875, the Chinese population in Idaho dramatically increased. In fact, at its height, the Chinese accounted for over 30 percent of the state’s population—the highest per capita amount in the entire nation. Following the alluring promise of gold, Chinese miners flocked to Idaho’s mountains. These Chinese miners, just like their white counterparts, bought mining claims and settled into their newfound communities.

While the immigrant Chinese experience varied from individual to individual, the experiences of Chinese miners in Idaho City were relatively positive. Although they faced some discrimination, overall, they were able to fairly purchase land, safely mine, and establish businesses. Pon Yam, a miner and businessman, was arguably the most well-known of the Chinese community in Idaho City. Rumored to have possessed a two-carat diamond ring—the largest in the area—Pon Yam became a successful merchant. Smoothly navigating the American legal and financial system, Pon Yam ran a store in the middle of Idaho City, which locals called the “Pon Yam House.”

Well respected by both whites and Chinese, Pon Yam lived in Idaho City for 20 years before returning to his hometown in China. During his sojourn in Idaho, the Pon Yam House became the heart of the Chinese community. Festivals and other Chinese celebrations were held at the store and for these special occasions, Pon Yam would decorate the store with his own paintings and ornaments. Additionally, Pon Yam and other Chinese participated in local American festivities. One newspaper reported that during a Fourth of July celebration Pon Yam and other prominent white merchants donated money for a new schoolhouse.

Today, the Pon Yam House serves as a reminder of the integral role Chinese played in the early history of Idaho City. Furthermore, Pon Yam’s life demonstrates that Chinese immigrants were both active and effective members of their community.



Copyright: William L
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 20756x10378
Taken: 10/08/2023
送信日: 24/05/2024


Tags: idaho city; idaho; pon yam house; chinese; mining; miners; gold rush; historic; national register of historic places; interior
More About Idaho

Idaho is a state located in the northwestern region of the United States of America.  Idaho is the 14th largest state by area, ranks 39th by population and 53rd by population density of the 50 United States.  Idaho was the 43rd state to be admitted into the Union, on July 3, 1890.  Idaho is landlocked, being bordered by Canada on the north and the states of Washington and Oregon on the west, Nevada and Utah on the south and Montana and Wyoming on the east.  Idaho is nicknamed "The Gem State" because nearly every known gemstone is found within the state.  Idaho is also famous for producing about one third of all potatoes grown in the USA.  Idaho also hosts the largest barrel cheese factory in the world, producing 120K metric tons of cheese per year.  There is some ambiguity as to where the name "Idaho" came from, but it is generally believed to have simply been made up by George M. Willing.  There is a possibility it was derived from a Native American phrase.  Idaho is very mountainous and is a popular outing destination of the outdoorsman.  The state population was about 1.58M in July 2011 with 84% being Caucasian, 11.2% Hispanic and 1.1% Native American.  The state capital and largest city is Boise.Source: wikipedia

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