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Chinese Coolie statue.

The Coolie - Ken Fox Statue

Field review by the editors.

Auburn, California

"The Chinese Coolie" is a 22-foot-tall sculpture of a grizzled man in a conical hat pushing a wheelbarrow. The statue was created by Auburn dentist Kenneth H. Fox in 1972, along with his other Great Statues of Auburn. It stood for decades outside his dental practice on the other side of I-80 before being moved to the site of the old train station (and then-future Gold Rush Museum) in 1989.

The Coolie is made from one mile of reinforced steel rebar and 35 cubic yards of concrete. Including his wheelbarrow, the Coolie is 33 feet long and weighs 35 tons.

Pigtail detail on the Chinese Coolie statue.

Politically incorrect, or historically accurate? While the term "coolie" may be denigrating today, it was used to describe the unskilled Asian laborers pouring into California in the second half of the 19th century. Fox created the statue, according to the plaque, as "a tribute to the historical significance of the Chinese worker in the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad through the Sierra Mountains of California."

When we snapped these photos, the statue was darkly stained -- not from a lifetime of sweat labor, but from two days of steady foothills winter rain.

You can see more of the doctor's statues in other parts of Auburn.

The Coolie - Ken Fox Statue

Gold Rush Museum

Lincoln Way, Auburn, CA
Gold Rush Museum. East of I-80 on Lincoln Way between Hwy 49 and Harrison Ave.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Ken Fox's Great Statues of AuburnKen Fox's Great Statues of Auburn, Auburn, CA - < 1 mi.
Gold Miner - Ken Fox StatueGold Miner - Ken Fox Statue, Auburn, CA - < 1 mi.
Monument: Slabs of US 40 and Lincoln HighwayMonument: Slabs of US 40 and Lincoln Highway, Auburn, CA - 2 mi.
In the region:
Roadside Grave of Old Joe - Murdered Stagecoach Horse, Foresthill, CA - 10 mi.

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