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China Camp State Park: Where past and present live side by side

The Grace Quan sailing on the Bay
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This story first aired in 2016 and it aired again most recently in the April 3, 2024 episode of Crosscurrents.

The Chinese community has a long history in the Bay Area. And before China Camp was a state park, it was a place some Chinese people made their homes. Frank Quan was one of the last residents to live there. The settlement became a state park in the late-1970s and Frank’s 'lifelong residency' was written into the park's general plan. He would live out the rest of his life there, in the wooden shacks where he grew up. He lived by himself and died in 2016.

Grace Quan, Frank Quan's mother

IN 2014 Reporter Julie Caine visited Frank to bring us his story.

JOHN MUIR: An incredible thing about China Camp—Grace grew up in an orphanage—there's this whole sense that I'm just one of many friends of theirs, forever, that've been coming here, building boats, helping them take care of the place. It's super welcoming...it's an orphanage spirit.

Credit Photo by Julie Caine
John Muir and Frank Quan