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Rock Springs

General Area of Chinatown


Since the mines were closed, most of the Chinese miners were in or around their homes in the area known to the white miners as "Chinatown". Groups of white men quickly formed and headed to that area. One group of men blocked the plank bridge across Bitter Creek, the quickest escape away from the rioters. Other groups then moved in from both the east and the west, effectively trapping many of the Chinese in their homes.


Nearly 150 men went on a rampage, carrying out acts of sheer brutality that were described as “revealing an almost feral hatred of the victims.” More than two dozen Chinese miners were known to have been murdered, and many were branded, mutilated, dismembered or decapitated. The number of actual dead is thought to be much higher.

Sources: Carroll, Chadley, Pfaelzer, Rock Springs Historical Museum




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About this site: The general area where Chinatown was located is now occupied by the Washington Elementary School (shown here) and the Rock Springs Civic Center. The rock wall in this photo is one of the few remnants left from the original Chinese community.

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