China Alley in Hanford, California is short street featuring eleven historic buildings near Seventh and Green Streets in downtown Hanford. The alley entrance is on Green Street just north of Seventh Street.
China Alley in Hanford, California traces its roots to 1877, when the Central Pacific railroad was extended westward into the area and the new town of Hanford was formed. Numerous Chinese came to the area, many initially to help build the railroads, but others came for farming and agricultural purposes.
The alley grew rapidly and the Chinatown prospered to include restaurants, homes, boarding houses, grocery stores, laundries, herb shops with reputable herbal doctors, sundries stores, gambling establishments, a Chinese school and a Taoist Temple. It soon became known as a "city within a city" with buildings lining both sides of the alley made from bricks formed and fired on site.
Visiting Hanford's China Alley Historic District is a fascinating adventure that allows us to step back into history. As visitors enter China Alley today, they are met with a sense of historic ambiance that is reminiscent of a strong cultural heritage. Many of the buildings lining the alley are visually unaltered and remain largely as they did over 100 years ago.