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A Timeline of the Chinese Population in San Luis Obispo

Updated: Jan 3, 2021


  • People came from the East Coast to the gold rush

  • Foreigners arrive to the Central Coast in response to the shortage of laborers


  • More than 25,000 Chinese arrive in California

  • Meaning 1/10 of the population in California is Chinese


  • Chinese was the main workforce on the railroad

  • Because the two largest railroads in California were joined together in San Luis Obispo County, SLO had the largest Chinese community in California


  • San Luis Obispo Tribune designates Palm Street as Chinatown

Palm Street; Chinatown in San Luis Obispo


  • Chinatown is demolished in order to accommodate a parking structure


  • Chinese Cemetery is now South Higuera Street

  • Ah Louis Store is the only remaining Chinese Historical Landmark present in San Luis Obispo County

Works Cited

Image Source

AH Louis Store c. 1900-1910 (800 Palm St.), no date, photograph, Louis Family Papers, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly,

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