Jodi Varon

Jodi Varon is the author of Drawing to an Inside Straight: The Legacy of an Absent Father and the translator of The Rock’s Cold Breath: The Selected Poems of Li He. Her interpretive work appears in Talking on Paper: An Anthology of Oregon Letters and Diaries. She has lectured on Chinese heritage for the Oregon Council for the Humanities Chautauqua Program, the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, and for the University of Washington’s National Consortium for Teaching about Asia. She is a professor of English at Eastern Oregon University and edits the literature and fine arts magazine Basalt.

Author's Entries

  • Ah Hee Diggings (Chinese Walls)

    The Ah Hee Diggings, also called the Chinese Walls, are sixty acres of hand-stacked, winding rock walls constructed of placer mine tailings. The walls were built by Chinese miners who worked gold-mining claims for the Ah Hee Placer Mining Company along a five-mile stretch of Granite Creek from 1867 to …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Edward Wah (1931?-2008)

    Edward Eng Wah, D.M.D., practiced dentistry in both Portland and John Day. The great-grandnephew of Oregon herbalist Ing Hay (Wu Yunian; also know as Doc Hay), the proprietor and practitioner of herbal medicine at the Kam Wah Chung Mercantile Company in John Day, Wah spent much of his childhood in …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Eldorado Ditch

    The El Dorado Ditch, also known as the Eldorado and the Big Ditch, was a system of irrigation ditches constructed to supply water to the Shasta Mining District in the Willow Creek Basin area of Malheur County. Begun in 1863 for developer W.H. Packwood of Baker City, the ditch provided …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Ing Hay ("Doc Hay") (1862-1952)

    Ing Hay (Wu Yunian), also known as Doc Hay, was a partner of Kam Wah Chung (Jin huachang) and Company in John Day from 1887 to 1948.  Born in Guangdong Province, Toisan (Daishan) County, China, he emigrated first to Washington State, then to eastern Oregon in 1887. His immediate family …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Kam Wah Chung and Co.

    The Kam Wah Chung and Company (Jin huachang ‘Golden Flower of Prosperity’) was a Chinese-owned grocery, dry goods store, and clinic in John Day. Built as a trading post along The Dalles Military Road in about 1866-1867, the store enjoyed a vigorous Chinese clientele and provided a gathering place …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Lung On (1863-1940)

    Lung On (Liang Guanying, also known as Leon) was a partner with Ing Hay in the Kam Wah Chung and Company general store and apothecary in John Day from 1887 to 1940. Born in 1863 in Guangdong Province, China, he arrived in California in 1882 and formed a business partnership with …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Sparta ditch

    The Sparta Ditch, a thirty-two-mile-long irrigation ditch straddling the Union-Baker County line, was built in 1871 to facilitate gold mining in that area. The ditch begins on the U.S. Forest Service Pine Ranger District, eight miles northwest of the unincorporated town of Sparta. It is a tangible example of …

    Oregon Encyclopedia

  • Two Dragon mining camp

    Two Dragon Camp was an isolated, 2.5-acre placer mining camp in the Camp Carson Historic Mining District, roughly twenty-one miles southwest of La Grande. Occupied for a two- to five-year period between 1870 and 1890, an estimated one hundred Chinese miners worked at the site at its peak of …

    Oregon Encyclopedia