I am assuming that the portion of tent showing on the left is the kitchen with the pan hanging there and the triangle used for a dinner bell.
A lot of people don't know that there were a lot of Chinese workers on the railroad and early roads in the Gorge. There is an area where there are still bee hive ovens that they used to cook and bake in.
charlott on 8th December 2016 @ 7:23am
I know of two places where the stone ovens remain in the gorge, but they are probably from Italian or middle east cooks. It is my understanding that Chinese did not use ovens. While the ovens in the gorge are remains there is one on Santiam Pass that is complete enough to still be used.
Kenn on 8th December 2016 @ 8:54am
Ahh...., Chinese food, but cooking for American rail workers, not really. Would like to see a menu of some daily fare!
James Holloway on 8th December 2016 @ 10:49am
I do know that there were Chinese that used ovens, know of one around the mountain that is documented as such.
Charlott on 8th December 2016 @ 12:30pm
Ovens or not -- I bet the food was good! 😂Look at Hop Sing on Bonanza!
Judy on 8th December 2016 @ 4:26pm
I spoke with the ODOT historian about the ovens. He pointed me to research suggesting beehive bread ovens in the west associated with railroad and road construction are of southern European (Italian or Greek) design. There are some in the Gorge presumed to be from Italian stonemasons who worked on the Columbia River Highway.
That said, I can easily imagine Chinese cooks borrowing techniques from others. They were cooking western bread for western workers.
In this case we know Ding Fang baked crusty bread for the crew and he worked in a well-equipped camp (we'll see more pictures), I suspect he had a traditional cast iron oven in his cook tent, but I haven't seen any conclusive evidence.
It's funny how little we know about the everyday lives of people who lived here just over 100 years ago. It gives me greater appreciation for archeologists working at sites thousands of years older.
Arthur on 14th December 2016 @ 3:30pm