Chinatown, Bakersfield

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Bakersfield Chinatown
Neighborhood of Bakersfield
Coordinates: 35°22′N 119°1′W / 35.367°N 119.017°W / 35.367; -119.017
Country  United States
State California
County Kern
City Bakersfield
ZIP Code 93301(old), 93304(new)
Area code(s) Area code 661

The U.S. city of Bakersfield, California was once home to two distinct areas that were called "Chinatown" where one was referred to as "old" and the other referred to as "new", though they co-existed around the same time period. The Chinatowns had a rivalry where the two communities did not mix socially as the two communities represented Chinese from two separate regions of China. By the 1920s, laws were passed outlawing gambling and prostitution. By the end of war, "... all that was gone after the war."[1] The only things remaining in Chinatown are "... China Alley, the Ying On Chinese Association building and the Confucius Church."[2]

History[edit]

According to the Bakersfield Californian, the local newspaper of Bakersfield, the city had two Chinatowns, one which was referred to as "... Old Chinatown (generally located between 20th and 22nd, and between L and K streets) ... [and]... New Chinatown (the vicinity of 17th and 18th, Q and R streets)." The article talked much about the rivalry between the two Chinatowns that frequently had gang wars that often resulted in death. Although the people from both Chinatowns "... worked side by side, laying down rails, mining for gold and tungsten and, later, working in the fields, they rarely mixed socially," as the Chinese from the two distinct districts were from different regions of China that spoke different dialects.

Bakersfield's Chinatowns were notable at the time for being the only Chinatowns co-existing in the same city.[3] [4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ California Historian. "Chinatown, gambling, tongs, and beneveloent societies". 
  2. ^ "Let Sing Gong Temple". 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "Kern's Vibrant Chinese Past Comes to Life".