HomeChinese AmericanHistorical marker goes missing in Denver's Chinatown

Historical marker goes missing in Denver’s Chinatown

A marker intended to remind Denverites that the city once boasted a vibrant Chinatown has gone missing and now an effort is underway to replace it.

Colorado Asian Pacific United unveiled a campaign Wednesday to raise $12,000. As of this morning, about $1,700 had been contributed through a GoFundMe campaign.

CAPU installed three markers throughout the city. The other two are still in place, but it’s unknown what happened to the third on 16th Street near Wazee where Chinatown once stood.

Chinese businesses flourished in the area in the 1870s to the 1880s. On Halloween in 1880, White rioters burned down the neighborhood, Denverite reports.

“The marker missing feels like to us another type of erasure of our history,” said Joie Ha, executive director of CAPU to 9News. Whether or not the marker is missing because of malicious reasons, it does feel disappointing in a way that this is sort of a metaphor for oftentimes how marginalized histories are just not really in the mainstream.”

Photo of the Denver Chinatown historical marker that is now missing
By Colorado Asian Pacific United via GoFundMe

The group originally reported the disappearance in December, but police have had no updates on the case. It’s unknown whether someone tore it from its foundation or if a driver inadvertently knocked it down.

The scene of the accident is out of sight from any surveillance cameras.

CAPU still has hopes of getting the marker back and says it’s not interested in prosecuting if its disappearance is not malicious. It’s asking anyone with information to contact them at [email protected].

“Looking at it, the marker is ripped from its base. It could have been hit by a truck but we don’t know where the marker is. Again, we’re not entirely sure how it went missing, but I think it isn’t out of the question that it could have been for malicious intent, especially with the rise in anti-Asian hate over the last few years,” Ha told Denverite.

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