(1) Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony

941 Cold Springs Road, Placerville, California

(530) 621-1224


In June 1869, 22 samurai and their families became the first Japanese colony in the U.S. when they bought a 272-acre site in present-day Placerville, California, from Charles Garner with the help of benefactor John Henry Schnell. They established the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony and planted crops such as tea plants, mulberry trees, paper and oil plants, rice and bamboo. Today, the site — including the grave of the first Japanese woman to die in America — is managed by the American River Conservancy. Public tours are offered monthly; private tours can also be arranged.

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