The Friends of Kam Wah Chung move forward on grants and new Visitor Center
JOHN DAY - The Friends of Kam Wah Chung started with a Conservation Assessment Grant sponsored by Institute of Museum and Library Sciences to preserve and protect the 19th century facility and Chinese immigrants history and to provide public access to the history of the American West. They have received grants from Oregon Community Foundation, Cycle Oregon, Trust Management Services and Oregon Heritage Commission. To date, they have received over $40,000 for the preservation.
The Friends of Kam Wah Chung, the City of John Day and Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) have entered into an agreement for the management, operation and preservation of the Museum. Under that agreement, OPRD will oversee the restoration projects and take necessary steps to preserve the items in the collection.
Kam Wah Chung has a visitor center, located on Canton Street in the former Blue Mountain Junior High complex. OPRD has leased the building and is in the process of retrofitting. It is scheduled to open in August of 2004. OPRD volunteer hosts will staff and manage the center which will house museum displays and an archival laboratory where work may begin on the preservation of the collection. The Friends will also operate a museum store in the building.
The new visitor center will provide space to show gratitude and appreciation to charter members. Anyone who contributed anything in 2002 up through Sept. 1, 2003 will be considered a charter member and will be listed in the visitor center and group literature. Due to privacy regulations they must have permission to use names. Therefore, notify them by writing before Sept. 1, if you do not approve, P.O. Box 663, John Day, OR 97845. Plans are also underway for displaying memorials and honorary contributions.
The last grant of $7,750 from Oregon Heritage Commission is restricted to preservation of the artifacts. The must match the grant with an equal amount of cash or in-kind donations. They are still needing equipment for the visitor center. All gifts are tax deductible.