China Gardens is a beautifully wooded neighborhood within the Glenbrook community. Here you will find a mix of styles of custom homes ranging from 2,500 sq’ to over 7,000 sq’. This area was once the camp quarters of Chinese immigrants. With a lack of employment in China, immigrants crossed the sea in search of new opportunities in America. Despite the California Gold Rush being a great destination for these immigrants, they were quickly ostracized from mining in California. Moving inland from the West Coast in search of jobs, the immigrants began arriving in Nevada in the 1850s. The three trades they primarily engaged in when arriving in Nevada were mining, railroad construction and woodcutting. According to Sue Fawn Chung, a history professor at UNLV, “70 percent of the woodcutters in the Sierra Nevada were Chinese.” This was a popular trade from the late 1870s until about 1910. By the time the California Pacific Railroad began construction in Reno around 1885, Chinese immigrants started to set-up their settlements. Woodcutters were needed to cut down trees to clear the way for roads, hewn timber for mines and gather lumber for fuel. “All these roads that were built, we take for granted,” Chung said. “Without Chinese workers, the West wouldn’t have been settled nearly as fast as it was.” The Chinese immigrants eventually branched out of Glenbrook, providing a number of services in laundry and food which proved particularly popular. “Chinese workers were able to grow fresh fruits and vegetables,” she said. “So instead of people having canned meat or stews, people were able to get freshly cooked meals.”
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