Weaverville Joss House State Historic Park

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Weaverville Joss House State Historic Park
Weaverville, April 2020-2070.jpg
Joss House in April 2020
USA California location map.svg
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Location Weaverville, California
Coordinates 40°43′52″N122°56′27″W / 40.7311°N 122.9408°W / 40.7311; -122.9408 Coordinates: 40°43′52″N122°56′27″W / 40.7311°N 122.9408°W / 40.7311; -122.9408
Governing body State of California
Reference no.709 [1]

Weaverville Joss House State Historic Park is a state park located in the center of the town of Weaverville, California. The site is a Taoist temple which is still in use, and is the oldest Chinese temple in California.



The original temple was built by Chinese goldminers during California's 1849 gold rush.

The current building, called The Temple among the Trees Beneath the Clouds (雲林廟), was built in 1874 to replace earlier structures which had been destroyed by fires. In 1934, much of the material in the building was taken during a robbery. The state decided that, in order to protect the historic nature of the material, a local resident, Moon Lim Lee, would be named trustee for the site. In 1956, the site officially became a state historic site.

In 1989, a box was left at the visitor's center. It contained one of the Chinese Guardian Lions which had been stolen in the 1934 theft. The state of California commissioned a new pair of dogs to place on display in the temple. The new dogs were created by traditional craftsmen in China.


Much of the material on display inside the temple includes temple equipment, objects of Chinese art, mining tools, and weapons used in the 1854 Tong War. The temple's patron saints are Xuantian Shangdi and Guan Di.

Current temple

Each year, to celebrate the Chinese New Year, a lion dance is performed. The dance is also performed on every Fourth of July weekend.

The interior of the temple remains the same as it looked when it was built, although safety railings and electric lights have been added. On the grounds, there is a recently added parking lot, visitor's center, and reflecting pool. Worship is still practiced at the temple but to preserve the exterior of the temple grounds, no incense burning is permitted.

The temple is located at the southwest corner of Main Street (California State Route 299) and Oregon Street in Weaverville.

See also

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  1. "Weaverville Joss House". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-15.