The Oroville Chinese Temple was built in 1863 as a community center for the substantial Chinese population of Oroville, California. It was originally composed of three parts: the Chan Room for Confucian meditation, the Moon Temple, for Buddhist rites, and the Council Room, for community functions. The Emperor and Empress of China provided funds for the construction and furnishings. Flooding in 1907 led to an exodus of Chinese from the Oroville area, leaving the temple largely unused. After a period under the stewardship of the Chan family, the temple was deeded to the City of Oroville in 1937 and was opened as a museum in 1949.
Since then a number of modern additions have been made, including a tapestry hall, a display hall and a garden.