2009 Angel Island Immmigration Station Foundation
and Confucius Church of Sacramento Proudly Presents

Gateway to Gold Mountain:
The Angel Island Immigrant Experience

Confucius Church Gynamsium
Set. 27 - Oct. 2
Monday - Friday 1 pm. to 4 pm.

The Chinatown Mall Culture Fair is pleased to bring to Sacramento a traveling exhibit by the Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation, chronicling the immigration experience of thousands of Asians who came to America between 1910 and 1940. This exhibit discusses the attitudes, hopes, and fears of the immigrants, as well as, the discrimination they encountered when trying to gain entry to America.

The Gateway to Gold Mountain exhibit introduces the history and role of the station, as well as the experience of the immigrants who were detained there as they tried to gain entry to America. Chinese immigrants who were the largest immigrant group processed, estimated at 175,000, Angel Island was a harsh greeting to America far different than the land of opportunity envisioned that many Chinese called "Gold Mountain."

The exhibit emphasizes the emotional experience and feelings of the new immigrants. Visitors walk through a series of vignettes, each representing a particular experience at the immigration station. Beginning with arrival by ship in San Francisco Bay, the visitor is taken to the island, where images of barbed wire fences, a guard tower, and locked doors "welcome" the immigrants to America.

Once inside the exhibit, the first vignette discusses the processing of new arrivals including examination of documents and "dormitory" assignments as well as group physical exams, an unfamiliar and frightening process for many non-Westerners.

Photomurals depict the day to day life of immigrants and life-size photographic cut-outs of detainees, station employees, and Christian missionaries show men, women, and children from different walks of life. Visitors also discover that Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, and Jewish immigrants were all part of the immigration station's history.

"Gateway to Gold Mountain" presents a significant and timely topic relative to current discussions about the immigration into the U.S. Reflecting on the history of Asian immigration laws and the attitudes surrounding the enactment and enforcement of those laws can provide food for thought as our country considers future immigration policies.

Click here to view the Gateway to Gold Mountain - Teacher's Flyer