The Chace and Evans collection was originally created in 1967 by archeologists Paul G. Chace and Bill Evans, the collection
was used by Patricia A. Etter in the 1970's to sythesize her own research regarding 19th- century Chinese opium-pipes and
smoking materials. However, and archeological catalog was not done of the entire collection until years later by John Molenda.
Molenda created an archeological catalog in the Summer of 2016 for boxes relating to Donner Summit, Donner Hotel, Virginia
City, Bear Valley, Mokelumne Hill, Hornitos, and North San Juan. The collections totals 15 boxes of mostly cermaic, metal,
faunal, glass sherds, and sherds of other materials. The artifacts include pieces of clothing, shoes, opium/tobacco paraphernalia,
munitions, gaming tokens, table wares, medicinal/alcohol bottles, digging tools, and other campsite items.
The first series of the collection, called Donner Summit, consists of nine boxes pertaining to the Donner Summit site are
arranged in a numerical manner (1-10). The second part of the series, named Other Northern California Sites (Donner Hotel,
Virginia City, Bear Valley, Hornitos, Mokelumne Hill, and North San Juan) consists of six boxes arranged in alphabetical order
(A-F). The collection provides intimate information into the lives of 19th- century Chinese railroad workers as to their diet,
leisure activites, spending habits/purchases, Chinese cultural practices, marital status, which region of China they hailed
from, as well as adaptation to U.S. culture. The collection is important for the study of Chinese American History in the
U.S., specifically California, as it gives insight into the types of labor available to Chinese immigrants, gender dynamics,
cultural adaptation, and immigration policy during the period of U.S. expansionism. This also includes the racialized position
Chinese peoples occupied in California, then a frontier state.
Paul G. Chace is a cultural resources consultant and an anthropologist specializing in cultural resources management, preservation
law, and ethnic relations theory("Chinese Railroad Workers," 2017). Chace recieved his PhD from University of California,
Riverside. His career spans 50 years of work conducting archeological digs, museum work, curating, teaching, being a historian,
and ethnologist. He has lectured on topics such as Western prehistory and Chinese American cultural heritage.