A Brief History of the Ventura County Chinese American Historical Society


The Ventura County Chinese American Historical Society (Historical Society) was founded in December 2000 under the auspices of the Ventura County Chinese American Association (VCCAA). Currently the Historical Society comprises thirty-three members. The Chair of the Historical Society is George Yu. The official historian of the Historical Society is Linda Bentz. Our treasurer is S.K. Leong.


The mission of the Historical Society is to perform original research, preserve, publish and teach the history and experiences of Chinese Americans in Ventura County. The Historical Society also coordinates with city, county and state government offices and officials in matters relating to the preservation, communication and recognition of the Chinese American heritage. In addition, the Historical Society serves as the focal point for the distribution of related educational materials, presentation of historical symposia and the arrangement of public speakers on topics relating to the history of Chinese Americans in Ventura County.


As its inaugural event, the Historical Society organized the Annual Cultural Night event for the VCCAA in February 2001 at the Camarillo Community Center. The theme of the event was the past, present and future of the Chinese Americans.


In 2003, the Historical Society collaborated with George Sandoval of WestEnds Production in the making of the documentary “Courage and Contribution: History of the Chinese in Ventura County”. The film opened to critical acclaim from both the academic and local community. We are in the process of developing a teacher guide and a children’s book to accompany the documentary. We plan to donate copies of the documentary for use in the public school curriculum. The film is available in public libraries and the Ventura County Museum of History and Art.


Since 2001, the Historical Society has assisted the Ventura City Council in the construction and funding of the first memorial dedicated to the legacy of the Chinese pioneers in Ventura County . The memorial is on Figueroa Street at the Historic China Alley. A mural depicting life at the China Alley in the nineteenth century was painted by Qi Pang and Guo Song Yun, renowned artists from China . The memorial was unveiled in August, 2004. The event was attended by about 250 people including the mayor and council members of the City of Ventura . This may be the first memorial to the early Chinese settlers that was funded by both the city government and the private sector.