U.S., Chinese dignitaries coming to city to celebrate partnership | NevadaAppeal.com

U.S., Chinese dignitaries coming to city to celebrate partnership

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

An artist's rendering of the proposed Chinese Workers Museum.

Dignitaries from the United States and China are expected to visit Carson City on Wednesday afternoon as part of a “Celebration of Partnership.”

The local event will be at the Capitol beginning at 1:30 p.m.

“We’re celebrating the fact that we’re going forward,” said Supervisor Robin Williamson. “All levels in government in China and here in the U.S. are working together and we’re excited by this partnership and cooperation.”

Among those expected to attend are Gov. Jim Gibbons and Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Carson City Mayor Marv Teixeira will serve as emcee.

Since representatives from China visited Northern Nevada and Lake Tahoe last year, local officials have been working to obtain more than 70 acres off of Highway 50 East for a museum honoring and recognizing Chinese workers who came to America.

It would be adjacent to the terminal of the proposed reconstruction of the historic Virginia & Truckee Railway tourist route near the Carson River. Officials and members of Carson City’s business community view the area as an important tourist destination in the near future, once plans come to fruition, Williamson said.

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The museum land, worth an estimated $20 million, is included as part of Carson’s federal lands bill request and is also being pursued for the city to control through a parks, recreation and public purpose lease from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Also this year, Nevada legislators approved $50,000 for planning this museum, which is envisioned as a multi-story building that would cost $50 million to construct.

The museum would showcase the lives, hardships and efforts of Chinese immigrants who were instrumental in constructing railroad routes in the West. This group of immigrants also was integral to mining, farming and construction in the region during the mid-to-late 19th and early 20th centuries.

“Anyone who wants to gather at the Capitol is welcome to attend,” said Art Hannafin, Hannafin Design Associates and one of principals behind the museum project.

Carson City and Taishan City will be recognized as sister cities during this afternoon event.

Taishan, a city of about one million people, is in the southwest corner of the Pearl River Delta, in China’s Guangdong province.

“A lot of people who worked on the railroad came from Taishan,” Williamson said of the recognition.

A press conference will follow the event at the Capitol.

The Atlantis Hotel in Reno will be the site for a gala evening event, also on Wednesday. Cost to attend a dinner honoring the various dignitaries is $150 per person or $250 per couple. Former Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt will be the emcee.

Call Dee Crossman at 882-6455 for details.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.