Martinez Historical Society

Cemetery Tour of Martinez


ovenChinese Presence -- Brick Oven

Chinese had arrived in California with the onset of the Gold Rush. From almost the beginning of that immigration they were in Martinez. Many more came to build the Transcontinental Railroad. Many of the leading families of Contra Costa and Alameda Counties had Chinese cooks, house servants, and field workers. The Strentzels and the Muirs were among the growers who employed Chinese workers . A fish cannery in Martinez also employed many Chinese workers who were brought in to work for low wages. The oven was used to prepare food for those who died here.