Chinese woodcutters’ exhibit

Bodie, 1908. J. Holman Buck, courtesy Nevada Historical Society | Nevada State Museum

In their heydays in the boom-and-bust mining culture of the late 1800s, the mining camps of Aurora, Nev., and nearby Bodie had a combined population of nearly 20,000. Keeping the thriving camps supplied was an ongoing challenge. A little-known piece of history of the two boomtowns — the role of the Chinese woodcutters who supplied firewood and charcoal to the camps — is the subject of a major new exhibit at the Nevada State Museum in Carson City, Nev. “Fueling the Boom: Chinese Woodcutters in the Great Basin” is open in the museum’s South Gallery until December.

The exhibit highlights the significance of the woodcutting residents of Chinese Camp near Aurora, who felled pinyon pines to supply Bodie and Aurora with firewood and charcoal from about 1875 to 1915. |