Marissa Batchelor L&S Social Sciences
Ceramics from Home: 19th Century Chinese Americans at Point Molate
Point Molate Beach is the archaeological remains of a shrimp camp that operated from 1870-1912. The San Francisco Bay had an influx of Chinese migrants that moved from the Guangdong Province for the promise of economic opportunities. By 1880, Chinese migrants had established a $250,000 fishing business that exported 3,000 tons of dried shrimp, while it provided fresh fish for the California market. Despite their contribution to America’s economy, they were not able to work in peace because of anti-Chinese sentiment. As a result, Point Molate Shrimp Camp was abandoned by 1913 and there is limited knowledge about the lifeways and culture of these fishermen. My research focuses on the analysis of cultural material at Point Molate from a previous excavation, surveying, and archival research on overseas Chinese ceramics. These fishermen contributed to the San Francisco Bay’s culture and economy, and throughout my analysis of their culture material, I will bring attention to the necessity to preserve sites of communities that were underrepresented and racialized throughout American history.