Chinese railroad worker house unearthed in Utah ghost town

Archaeologists excavating in a Utah ghost town have turned up a rare find: a house belonging to 19th-century Chinese workers on the transcontinental railroad.

The house — now just a layer of floorboards scattered with artifacts such as Chinese coins and stoneware — is the first-ever completely excavated Chinese home on the transcontinental railroad. More than 11,000 immigrants from China helped build the railroad, which connected the Eastern lines in Iowa to the San Francisco Bay. But these workers are often left out of historical documents from the late 1800s, said Christopher Merritt, the state historic preservation officer with the Utah Division of State History. The presence of a Chinatown wasn’t on any map of Terrace, for example.