There is always something interesting going on at
Kam Wah Chung!
In addition to supporting the regular museum tours and educational displays at the Interpretive Center, we also organize special events. We regularly participate in local events like the Spring Break Kids Passport to Fun, 62 Days Festival Celebration of the gold rush of 1862 and Families First Fun Day in the Park.
June 9th, 2018 was a gala event here in John Day, OR. We celebrated the anniversary of the establishment of Kam Wah Chung over 140 years ago along with the state historic site establishment by Oregon Parks & Recreation 10 years ago.
Former Oregon First Lady Mary Oberst and Barbara Sidway, who spearheaded fundraising for the interpretive center in 2005, were honorary speakers, as well as Christy Sweet, former curator.
Portland Lee’s Association Dragon & Lion Dance Team performed a traditional Chinese dance after a wonderful catered Chinese dinner. This is the same group that performed at the grand opening 10 years ago. One of the young men in this year's performance was a child dancer back then!
A camera crew from Yiping Media Group of Shenzhen, China, came to Kam Wah Chung on Aug. 1 to work on a documentary about the spread of Chinese herbal medicine around the world.
Professor Zhao Zhongzhen, who starred in the documentary produced for the Chinese version of the Discovery Channel, also sits on a tourism board in China, which has 3 million visits on its website. Zhao has encouraged every travel agency in China to promote visits to Kam Wah Chung.
Two months later, a film crew from Beach House Pictures of Singapore came to Kam Wah Chung for production of a similar documentary for the American version of Discovery Channel. Dr. Eric Brand, a student of Zhao’s, and Beth Howlett, vice president of communications and academic services at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in Portland, were presenters in the video shoot.
At our annual membership meeting in June, we reviewed last years activities and talked about plans for next year. Don Merritt, our new curator, gave us some background on his experience and his ideas for how Kam Wah Chung might grow in the coming years.
We had a lovely catered Chinese Dinner.
Kyle Cline was presented with the Carolyn Micnhimer Award for 2017.
In the fall of 2017, a delegation of eight Chinese scholars from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong visited Kam Wah Chung to research the extensive herbal pharmacy and written records in the archives.
Professor Zhao Zhongzhen led the group as part of an educational tour of historic sites pertaining to traditional Chinese medicine. The scholars were fascinated with the extent and condition of the collection, describing it as one of three in the world of highest quality and most usefulness for research.
The visit was also an initial tour to prepare for an upcoming filming for a Discovery Channel segment on historical Chinese medicine sites. Zhao plans to begin filming at KWC in the fall of 2018.
Stay tuned for more details!
The Friends have an annual membership meeting every June. This year we had a catered Chinese buffet from the Golden Dragon restaurant in Baker City. Thank you to Alice Shawn & Francis Kocis for being delivery drivers.
Don Hann, U.S. Forest Service Archeologist, Malheur Forest, gave a very informative presentation on Chinese cabin and mining sites in the area and their connections to Kam Wah Chung. The collaboration between USFS archeology digs and the KWC collections has significant research possibilities.
Christy Sweet has been the curator at Kam Wah Chung since 2006. In October, 2016 she took a promotion to the OPRD state office in Salem.
Christy was instrumental in developing KWC into a nationally recognized heritage site.
Words can't express her value to KWC and how she will be missed. Here are a few photos from her farewell party in August, 2016.
Some of our appreciations for Christy:
Christy brought skills that were much needed at KWC. A degree in Museum Science and her vast experience working with National Park Service at other museums proved to be very valuable for the day to day operations of the historic building and interpretive center. Christy spent 10 years at KWC and completed a number of projects during this time. Christy continues to work for Oregon Parks & Recreation Department as their Historian at Salem Headquarters. She calls KWC her baby and it is nice to know she still works for the agency and is only a phone call away when we have a question.
~ Dennis Bradley, OPRD Regional Manager
Christy was a joy to work with. She was fun and patient and she created a friendly atmosphere that enveloped the public, the hosts, and all the people who worked with her. She knew every artifact in the collection and she did a lot of research so that she could understand as much as possible about Chinese culture. I think the public—especially our Chinese visitors—really appreciated that. I think Doc Hay and Lung On would have felt respected and honored by Christy.
~ Carol Faulkner, former board member and OPRD Ranger
Working with Christy was always fun and informative. She was devoted to Kam Wah Chung and it showed in her enthusiasm for every part of her job. Her sweet smile and bubbly personality were just frosting on the cake. I wish her good luck in her new adventure.
~ Leslie Traylor, former board member
Christy brought a high degree of museum professionalism and quality to Kam Wah Chung. Without this, our many visitors would not have access to this wonderful place.
~ Kyle Cline, Chinese herbalist
We also have special events like Chinese New Year's Celebrations, Open Houses and Educational Presentations.
Some of these presentations on Chinese cultural activities have included:
The Historical and Current use of Chinese herbs
Artifact exhibits and tours of local archaeological digs with the US Forest Service
Presentations for touring groups, like Cycle Oregon
Below are some photos and a video from some of these special events.
Here is a video excerpt from this presentation. Click on:
Chinese Herbs for Winter Time Coughswith Kyle Cline, LMT Chinese Herbs for Winter Time Coughs x
© 2019 Friends of Kam Wah Chung
Chinese Year of the Earth Pig 4717