This structure from the 1850s is typical of Chinese construction and was probably built
by the Chinese people. Its lack of windows made it suitable for use as a gambling house. In 1871,
Yee Fung & Co. obtained the deed to the building. This was most likely the same Dr. Yee
Fung Cheung connected with the Chew Kee Store. Dr. Herbert Yee has remarked that his
great-grandfather, Yee Fung Cheung, loved to gamble and often visited the gambling
house across the street. Other accounts of Yee Fung Cheung indicate he was a player
of the popular Chinese game of Majhong. This was most likely one of the games played
in the Gambling Hall.
In July of 2003 the Fiddletown Preservation Society received a grant from the State of California for $203,000, a little less than half of the cost of restoring the Chinese Store and the Gambling Hall. In February of 2008 FPS received an additional grant from the State of California for $208,000. With the addition of over $50,000 raised locally, we were able to begin the construction phase in June of 2008. In April of 2006 FPS awarded a contract to Garavaglia Architects in San Francisco to do the architectural plans for the work. The plans were completed in June 2007. The construction was completed in December of 2008. FPS is currently in the process of planning the next steps in the path to opening the Gambling Hall as a museum.
To make a donation or ask about the project you can contact us here.