Chinatown & The First State Capitol

From 1872 to 1887, a large Chinese population occupied this block of Market Street. Despite considerable discrimination against them, the Chinese managed to thrive within their insular community. But by the late 1880's, as downtown businesses began establishing themselves along South First Street, many saw Chinatown as a barrier to future expansion. Unsuccessful efforts were made to dislodge the Chinese. On May 4, 1887, a fire of suspicious origins raced through the dense brick and wooden buildings of Chinatown, destroying the entire community in a matter of hours. Ruined and homeless, the Chinese were forced to relocate.

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