Open main menu

Chinese Massacre Cove is an area along the Snake River in Wallowa County, Oregon, United States. It is located in the Wallowa–Whitman National Forest and the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, upriver from the Snake's confluence with the Imnaha River. In May 1887, it was the location of the Hells Canyon Massacre, where thirty-four Chinese goldminers were ambushed and murdered.

Location in Hells Canyon
Chinese Massacre Cove


Chinese Massacre Cove is the location of one of the most brutal injustices against the Chinese immigrants in the Northwest United States. On May 1887, thirty-four Chinese goldminers were ambushed by horse thieves and schoolboys from Wallowa County. The crime was initially discovered through the discovery of the dead bodies near Lewiston, Idaho with little accuracy of crime specifics. The crime and its details were found later under the direction of Lee Loi of the Sam Yup Company of San Francisco which was a major employer of Chinese miners who sought the help of Judge Joseph K. Vincent to investigate the situation. Vincent reported his findings to the Chinese consulate in San Francisco which then sought the help from the U.S. State Department. This information included the bodies of the deceased Chinese immigrants, the vague background of the deceased Chinese immigrants, and information on the gang of killers. A year later from the murder, a trial in Enterprise, Oregon was held in a grand jury on September 1, 1888 that accused six men and boys of the nine total for murder. However, none of them were punished for the crime. Over time, the massacre was gradually forgotten.

In 2005, The location was officially renamed from the "Deep Creek Massacre site" to "Chinese Massacre Cove" by the U.S. Board on Geographic Names to commemorate the crime. Each year thereafter, conferences and healing ceremonies were held at the site by local representatives to remember the deaths of the Chinese immigrants involved in the attack. In June 2012, a permanent granite memorial was established on the site to recognize these deceased Chinese miners. On the memorial are, "Chinese Massacre Cove — Site of the 1887 massacre of as many as 34 Chinese gold miners — No one was held accountable" in English, Chinese, and Nez Perce which were the first inhabitants of the area. These words stand to represent the silently oppressed population of Chinese, Native Americans, and other minority races in the area who little justice for crimes and injustice against their race.[1]


  1. ^ Nokes, R. Gregory (Fall 2006). "A Most Daring Outrage: Murders at Chinese Massacre Cove, 1887". Oregon Historical Quarterly. 107 (3). Archived from the original on 28 January 2007. Retrieved 20 March 2007.

2. "Chinese Massacre at Deep Creek." The Oregon Encyclopedia, Portland State University and the Oregon Historical Society, 6 Oct. 2017,

3. Weekly, Northwest Asian. "Community Members Install Memorial at Chinese Massacre Cove." Northwest Asian Weekly, 17 May 2012,

External linksEdit