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Hanford host hidden treasures

Chinese artifacts are showcased at the Taoist Temple Museum.

Hanford sure is full of hidden gems, isn’t it?

It took me long enough, but I finally made my way to the Taoist Temple in China Alley and, days later, I’m still a little flabbergasted by its beauty.

Since starting at the Sentinel a little over a year ago, I’ve been reminded by local folks to visit the Taoist Temple at least a couple of times a month.

The temple is open public on the first Saturday of every month. Usually my Saturdays are reserved for watching bad movies on the couch with my Chihuahua or playing the video games I keep buying despite my bank account’s pleas for me to stop, so I really haven’t found myself in the neighborhood in the small window of opportunity in which the temple is open.

This weekend was different, though, as I was in Hanford for the Ohana Comic Con and I decided to pop into the temple afterward.

And it’s a wonderful place. It’s hard to believe such a nice spot full of rich history and aesthetic beauty is mere walking distance from my beige cubicle here at the Sentinel office.

(Don’t get me wrong, I love my cubicle, it just doesn’t have much in the way of aesthetic beauty. It wouldn’t surprise me if it had a rich history, though.)

Another thing that masks the beauty of the temple, and all of China Alley, is that it really puts the “hidden” in “hidden gem.” I drive down E. 7th St. pretty much every day and it took me months of wondering “where is this China Alley everyone always talks about” before I finally glimpsed the fabled row of buildings by happenstance while getting a tea at the L.T. Sue Tea Room & Emporium.

Anyway. I got to the temple rather late and somehow didn’t have enough time to take in the enormity of the small building. A walking tour of the temple and museum could take somewhere between one to three minutes to breeze through if one used only their legs. Though, I feel like to walk through and truly see everything in the museum could take all day, so I definitely won’t wait so long for my second trip.

Old Fire Station Update

Those of you who read this (oftentimes) light-hearted column regularly will know that I like to sporadically provide updates about the status of the area of town where the historic Art Deco fire station once stood -- the corner of Lacey Boulevard and Kaweah Street.

It’s been 373 days since it was demolished and nothing – no recreation center, not even a parking lot – has begun to be constructed on the spot. It’s just a very, very soggy empty lot right now.

I would suggest that the City Council members who voted to destroy the building take a field trip to the Taoist Temple sometime to remind themselves about how beautiful local history can be and how important it is to preserve that history.

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Parker Bowman is a staff reporter for the Hanford Sentinel, follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ Parker_THS or send an email to

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