In the 1850s, Chinese came to California, a land they called Gum Shan, meaning Mountain of Gold, for the same reason as other nationalities: to seek their fortune. As the placer gold played out, Chinese took jobs building railroads, dams, levees, and highways. In Chinatown, people could come together for comfort, safety, and religious purposes, free from the persecution to which they were accustomed. Typically, families would conduct business and live in the same building. At one time, a network of tunnels once connected the buildings to each other. This area remains a link to the Chinese presence and cultural heritage of the 19th & 20th centuries.