Chinese American History

The Chinese played a pivotal role in the establishment of San Luis Obispo. One figure in particular, who stood out, was Ah Louis. He started a merchandising store on Palm Street, and recruited many Chinese laborers. His laborers helped build wharves that made sea imports possible, and built railroad tracks through very treacherous terrain, allowing trains to pass by SLO County, and travel from San Francisco to Los Angeles. To learn more about Ah Louis, click here. For more information about the Chinese in general, click here. To view photos and descriptions from the 1800s and 1900s, click here.

We gratefully acknowledge, respect, and thank yak titʸu titʸu yak tiłhini, Northern Chumash Tribe of San Luis Obispo County and Region in whose homelands we all are guests. 

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