The Fascinating Chinese Joss House Museum in Evanston, Wyoming

During a 2-week vacation in Utah, we drove through Flaming Gorge in the northeastern corner of the state, then headed through southwestern Wyoming on our way back to Salt Lake City. That's where we ran across the town of Evanston and its fascinating Chinese Joss House Museum.

The charming town's Historic Depot Square is home to historic buildings and two museums, including the Joss, which tells the story of Chinese immigrants in this corner of the state from the 1870s to the 1970s. It's housed in a replica of the Joss House temple that stood in Evanston's Chinatown until it burned down in 1922.

The museum is full of memorabilia, including two gilded panels that hung in the original temple. We learned that the large numbers of Chinese who immigrated here contributed to more than just railroad and mining labor.

Evanston is along I-80 (Exit 3) in the southwest corner of Wyoming, about 7 miles east of the Utah state line. The Chinese Joss House Museum (920 Front St.; 1-307-789-8248) is open daily by appointment.

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