We worked today to uncover the Ng Shing Gung Temple. This temple was the religious and cultural heart of the Heinlenville community. The top story of the two-story building contained the community altar, while the bottom story was used for community meetings and the children’s Chinese language school. A replica of the temple was built at Kelley Park, San Jose.
Using the backhoe, we stripped the asphalt and gravel fill on what we thought to be the location of the temple based on historic maps. Our first indication that we might have picked the right spot was a rough line of old bricks. The bricks fell along the alignment of what would have been the temple wall. The backhoe stripped off more asphalt to give us a better look and found the corner and foundations of the temple that would have fronted the old Cleveland Street. In many ways, this is one of the most exciting things we could have found. It is a tangible link between today’s Chinese American community in San Jose and its historic heart.
Archaeologists of the Anthropological Studies Center (ASC)