Sierra Speaker Series


The monthly Sierra Speaker Series connects folks to the rich cultural and natural history of the area. Join us at Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center to learn and engage! Doors open at 5 pm, and the presentation is to follow at 5:30 pm. Admission is a suggested $5 donation. Light refreshments will be available. Parking is free after 5 pm. No registration required.


Little is known about the Chinese in Truckee and the environs, who worked on logging ranches to provide wood for the local mines and the Central Pacific Railroad, made charcoal for fuel, and established a small Chinatown.  They also worked on the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad, Virginia, and Truckee Railroad, and other standard- and narrow-gauge lines in the area. This presentation will delve into some of the unknown aspects of their lives and experience in the late nineteenth century as revealed in archival materials and recent publications.  A question and answer period will follow the 30-minute PowerPoint presentation.

Sue Fawn Chung was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and received her doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley in 1975.  She taught for almost forty years at UNV. She is the author of The Chinese in the Woods: Logging and Lumbering in the American West (2015), In Pursuit of Gold: Chinese American Miners and Merchants in the American West (2013), The Chinese in Nevada (2011), and Chinese American Death Rituals: Respecting the Ancestors (2005). She is currently working on a book about Chinese railroad labor contractors.  She has written numerous articles and during the pandemic, has appeared in numerous Zooms (some available on Youtube), BBC programs, and television shows. She has curated several art and museum exhibits, consulted for the Forest Service and Park Service, and was the executive producer for a Vegas PBS history on Island Mountain, Nevada.

About the Sierra Speaker Series

Brought to you by California State Parks and the Sierra State Parks Foundation, the Sierra Speaker Series shares and connects the rich cultural and natural history of the area to the community. Please donate to Sierra State Parks Foundation today to support the interpretation, restoration, and preservation of the parks system in the Lake Tahoe-Donner area. Your tax-deductible donation will be kept locally and applied to priority projects. 

Doors open at 5 pm, at the Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center; the presentation to follow at 5:30 pm. Admission is a suggested $5 donation. Light refreshments will be available, and wine available for a suggested donation of $5. Parking is free after 5 pm.

Please visit to see how you can get involved and access a full list of upcoming events.