JSCNHM home • Spring 2012 • vol. 4 no. 2

Yuba County

Photo Gallery (.mov)

The Chinese Museum of Northern California

232 First Street
Marysville, CA 95901
Phone: (530) 743-8160
Website: http://www.chineseamericanmuseum.com/

For 40 years, Brian Tom collected artifacts for a museum he dreamed of building. Not long ago, the retired attorney bought a former hotel in Marysville, Calif., where his grandfather had settled 150 years earlier after leaving China to mine for gold in the Sierra. In 2007, in California's last active gold country Chinatown, Tom opened the Chinese American Museum of Northern California. The Museum exhibits several Chinese picks used to mine gold in the 1850s. There are 200 old photos, many never exhibited before. The back of the building is a restored bean-sprout plant once run by a family that supplied Chinese restaurants in the Marysville–Yuba City area until the 1950s.

The City of Marysville Bok Kai Temple

P.O. Box 1844
Marysville, CA 95901
Email: singlere@syix.com
Website: http://www.bokkaitemple.com/

Five years after the first contingent of Chinese arrived in California to work the gold mines during the California Gold Rush, a temple was erected in Marysville to serve the immigrant population. The year was 1854, and the foremost of the gods that were worshiped was Bok Eye, the god of water, who had the power to control the rains.

The original temple was destroyed by fire, and was replaced in 1880. The temple remains a primary focus of the present Marysville Chinese community, who have dedicated themselves to preserving the temple. The Bok Kai Temple is the only one honoring the god Bok Eye in the United States.

The temple is infrequently used as an active place of worship, but is preserved as both a California Historical Landmark and as a protected property on the National Register of Historic Places. A Bok Kai festival and parade is held annually in the spring, during which time the temple is opened for ceremonies as well as for interested parties to tour.

The temple requires extensive rehabilitation and daily maintenance. A coalition of community groups, including the temple’s owner, the Marysville Chinese Community, Inc. and Friends of the Marysville Bok Kai Temple, Inc., are working together to save the temple. The groups have joined with Marysville City leaders and other concerned individuals to seek funding for the preservation of the temple and its collection of historical artifacts.

Friends of the Yuba County Library

P.O. Box 2504
Marysville, CA 95901
Phone: (530) 749-7180
Email: cynthia@fontayne.com
Website: http://www.friendsoftheyubacountylibrary.org/index.html

Founded in 1978, the Friends of the Packard Library of Yuba County, Inc. is an association of readers and bibliophiles working to encourage reading and to help maximize the positive impact of books, knowledge and the Library in the lives of our fellow citizens.

A volunteer board of directors runs the organization with additional support from other members for specific events and activities. They work closely with the library's programs and outreach coordinator who, with the support of the director, serves as liaison to the group.

Mary Aaron Museum

704 D Street
Marysville, CA 95901
Phone: (530) 743-1004
Website: http://www.maryaaronmuseum.com/Home_Page.html

Built of brick circa 1855 by architect and inventor Warren P. Miller, this Gothic Revival home was purchased by the Aaron family in the 1870s.

It remained in the family until 1955. At that time, the only son of Mary Bobo Aaron gifted it to the City of Marysville to be maintained as a museum in honor of his mother.

The Mary Aaron Museum was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998 as the Warren P. Miller house.

In the summer of 2011, the board of the Mary Aaron Museum began to restore and renovate the upstairs portion of the home with an anticipated completion date in the spring of 2012.

Smartsville Church Restoration Fund, Inc.

P.O. Box 374
Smartsville, CA 95977
Phone: (530) 743-0413
Email: kitburton@hotmail.com
Website: http://smartsvillechurchrestoration.org/index.html

Smartsville is a small community on the easterly edge of Yuba County, just across the line from Nevada County. When gold was discovered in California, one of the first areas to receive the miners’ attention was at a place called Rose’s Bar on the Yuba River about 17 miles east of Marysville. Placer mining on the river turned to hydraulic mining of the adjacent and ancient river channels and the town of Smartsville was born nearby on the stage coach route from Marysville to Grass Valley, now State Route 20.

Most of the miners in Smartsville were of Irish descent. They constructed a Catholic church here in 1861 but it burned down in 1870 and a new building was erected on the same foundation the very next year. That church, the former Church of the Immaculate Conception, is still standing and is the object of our restoration efforts. It is recognized as a State of California Point of Historical Interest and the entire town of Smartsville is a California Historical Landmark (#321).

The church was last used for religious services in 1968, and soon began to decline without adequate maintenance. It is such a large building and such a strong relic of Smartsville’s history, that efforts to maintain, repair and restore it were attempted several times, with limited success.

In 1998, local resident Bill Ross had an idea. He convinced the Sacramento Diocese to donate the building and land to a group of concerned citizens and to help the new group attain its status as a non-profit corporation. That was the start of SCRFI (Smartsville Church Restoration Fund, Inc.). Our mission is to rehabilitate/restore the building and operate it as a cultural and educational community building.

Yuba County Library

303 Second Street
Marysville, CA 95901
Phone: (530) 749-7380
Website: http://www.co.yuba.ca.us/departments/library/

Located in Marysville, the Yuba County Library is home to the California Room, a repository of historic information on Yuba County specifically and California in general. Materials in the California Room include books, pamphlets, and non-print materials such as manuscripts, papers, letters, diaries, maps, photographs, microfilm and other material pertaining to Yuba County and its immediate environs. A secondary concern is for historical printed matter i.e., books, pamphlets, etc. that offer limited coverage to the surrounding towns beyond Yuba County and its immediate environs.

Yuba County Museum of History

P.O. Box 5098
Marysville, CA 95901
Phone: (530) 788-3292
Website: http://www.yubacountyhistory.org/index.html

For many years, local historians and historical groups have dreamed of having a County Museum created to educate our community about the wonderful and diverse history of Yuba County. The mission of the Yuba County Museum of History is the preservation and exhibition of the history and genealogy of Yuba County; to assist in supporting Yuba County historical organizations; to provide educational programs in conjunction with local schools and to stimulate tourism and local economy by providing a dynamic, professional institution in the Yuba County seat, Marysville, California.

The Museum organizers are working with many of the County historical organizations to create a collaborative museum in downtown Marysville. The goal is to create a unique and professional institution that will provide public access to many local artifacts and genealogical resources through centrally located, public exhibit space to display artifacts maintained by these organizations.

This museum will be an educational institution dedicated to teaching the public about Yuba County History and will work with local schools to develop a comprehensive program for educating our local students.




Sierra College | Natural History Museum | © 2012 JSCNHM
Based on design by www.mitchinson.net