Bok Kai Temple
Bok Kai Temple
California Historical Landmark No. 889
Full view of the Bok Kai Temple
|NRHP reference No.||75000498|
|Added to NRHP||May 21, 1975|
The Bok Kai Temple (Chinese: 北溪廟) is a traditional Chinese temple in the city of Marysville, California, located at the corner of D and First Streets, and served as the center of what was a bustling Chinatown for a small town.
In 1854, five years after the first contingent of Chinese arrived in California to work the gold mines during the California Gold Rush, a temple was erected in Marysville to serve the immigrant population. The foremost of the gods that are worshiped is Xuan Wu, (玄武 "Dark Warrior" or "Mysterious Warrior"), a Deity in Chinese religion believed to govern the north and rain, hence its place of reverence at Bok Kai Temple, or northern creek temple.
The original temple was destroyed by fire, and was replaced in 1880. The temple remains a primary focus of the present Marysville Chinese community, who have dedicated themselves to preserving the temple.
The temple is infrequently used as an active place of worship, but is preserved as both a California Historical Landmark and as a protected property on the National Register of Historic Places. A Bok Kai festival and parade is held annually in the spring, during which time the temple is opened for ceremonies as well as for interested parties to tour. Other tours may be arranged by contacting the Temple caretaker.
- Further reading
- Tom, Lawrence; Tom, Brian (2020). Gold Country's Last Chinatown: Marysville, California. Charleston, South Carolina: The History Press. ISBN 9781467143233.
- Bok Kai Temple - Friends of the Marysville Bok Kai Temple
- Bok Kai Festival - Chinese Community of Marysville, California
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