The Foo Kee Store in Fiddletown was constructed in the mid to late 1850s, most
likely not by the Chinese people. Constructed of brick, it must have been among the first permanent
structures in Fiddletown. For many years during the 19th Century it was occupied and
owned by the Chinese merchant Foo Kee, who was listed in Fiddletown's first extant business
licenses in 1863, continuing through 1881. Foo Kee obtained a deed to the property in
1871. Foo Kee owned two other parcels, one immediately south of this building and the
other adjacent to the west. These properties were in the heart of Fiddletowns Chinese district,
and Foo Kee had the largest land holdings among the Chinese inhabitants.
In 2001, the building was donated to Amador County by its owners, Richard Stanley and Anne Hellman. In July of 2003 the Fiddletown Preservation Society received a grant from the State of California for $203,000, a little less than half of the cost of restoring the Chinese Store and the Gambling Hall. In February of 2008 FPS received an additional grant from the state of California for $208,000. With the addition of over $50,000 raised locally, we were able to begin the construction phase in June of 2008. In April of 2006 FPS awarded a contract to Garavaglia Architects in San Francisco to do the architectural plans for the work. The plans were completed in June 2007. The construction was completed in December of 2008. FPS is currently in the process of planning the next steps in the path to opening the Chinese Store as a museum.
To make a donation or ask about the project you can contact us here.