Fiona Ma for State Assembly

Weaverville Joss House

Celebrating the Chinese New Year at the Weaverville Joss House took on special meaning this year, because it's one of dozens of historic state parks slated to close this summer.

It was a colorful event, featuring the traditional Chinese Lion Dance.   The Joss house was built in 1874 during the gold rush, to serve as a Taoist Temple to the Chinese.

Many of the artifacts that came to the temple from China are still there, but the state budget ax could shutter the historic treasure forever.

Democratic Assemblywoman Fiona Ma of San Francisco was on hand for Saturday’s event, "The fact Moon Lee, when he had the vision to donate to the state, he was thinking it would be preserved and open for perpetuity."

Ma has joined forces with the local non-profit group working to raise money to preserve the Joss House.  The goal is to raise 80 thousand dollars by April first.  "We've raised about ten thousand so far. I've planned a big meeting with leaders of Chinese Families Association in China Town where I'm going to present our case. "

Ma hopes the Chinese Community from elsewhere in the state and even internationally will step up to help save this piece of history, which is just as important to residents of the Weaverville community.

Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro of Arcata told Action News, "For a small community, the draw that brings visitors is key to the tourist industry. Especially in the summer months it could impact local economy severely."

Sonations are considered tax deductible, and are being accepted by the Weaverville Joss House Association.

Meanwhile, the group working to save Chico's Bidwell Mansion from closure has a silent film festival and a fundraising run scheduled for March.