In 1860 around 2000 Chinese prospectors were drawn to Young, lured by the possibility of making their fortunes in the goldfields. Within months gold reserves were dwindling and European miners, resentful of the well organised and successful Chinese miners, banded together to drive Chinese prospectors out of town. See my Reading the Riot Act review for more detail on the shocking treatment meted out to the Chinese at this time.
While many Chinese were run out of Young or left when the gold ran out some stayed and they and later Chinese residents contributed greatly to the development of the town.
In 1992 the Rotary Club of Young set out the Chinese Tribute Garden at Chinamans Dam. Chinamans Dam (itself pleasant for a stroll) was built in the 1860s by German brothers Herman and John Tiedmann to provide water for their goldmining activity. They sold the dam to a Chinese group still working in the area in the 1870s and it later later provided water for the steam railway engines which started arriving in Young in the 1880s.
In 1996 the local council dedicated the Lambing Flat Chinese Tribute Garden “in recognition of the contribution of the Chinese community to the settlement of Young in the 1860’s and the ongoing contribution of the Chinese community to Australia as a nation.”
Today the Garden which includes bronze and marble sculptures, a water mill, rock formations, winding paths, and a selection of plants that change with the seasons provide a restful spot for a stroll and a reflection on what the Chinese community has contributed and continues to contribute, silently and without fuss, to Australia as a nation.
Just outside the formal Garden, by the Dam, is lovely spot for a picnic with seating, barbeques and toilets available.
Give yourself an hour or two.
Opening times – Everyday until sunset
Entrance fee – free
Address: 4 kms from the centre of Young – well signposted