Ventura's China Town developed in the late 1860s on Figueroa Street across from the Mission and along both sides of an alley running west to east behind Main St. The town called Sui Mon Gong grew to about 200 and was a self-contained community of simple wooden buildings with shops, businesses and rooming houses. Some of the businesses were opium parlors and gambling houses, which caused conflict with other residents. The Chinese were employed in the area as farm laborers and house servants.The town was removed in the 1920s and another China Town sprang up on the northeast corner of Ventura Ave. and Main St.
Today the memory of Ventura's China Town is honored on Figueroa St. by a commemorative gateway to the former China Alley and a beautiful mural by Qi Pang and his wife, Guo Song Yun. The mural, painted in 2004, depicts the lives of Ventura's Chinese. The two artists immigrated to the U.S. from China in 2000. The picture above, from the Ventura County Museum, shows a Chinese man and two children with the Mission in the background. The photos below show the gateway and mural on Figueroa St. today.