Groups of Chinese immigrants to the Bay Area in the 19th century picked up where their displaced Native American predecessors left off in fishing the waters of the Bay.

The largely forgotten history of Chinese shrimp fishing camps that once dotted and flourished on the Bay shoreline will be the focus of a daylong program from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 6 at the Craneway Pavilion, 1414 Harbour Way South in Richmond.

The day will include a tour of the shrimp junk Grace Quan and presentations starting at 1:30 p.m. on the history of Chinese shrimp fishing in Richmond by historian Philip Choy and Melinda McCrary of the Richmond Museum of History, along with a talk about the building of the authentic 43-foot replica junk.

The program is the kickoff to the "Chinese Whispers: Bay Chronicles" an interdisciplinary project retracing the history and locations of the camps.

"Over two weeks in September, we will sail to former Chinese shrimping sites in a route that links San Rafael in the North Bay, Richmond in the East Bay, Redwood City in the South Bay, and San Francisco," say organizers. "Our team of visual, sound, and media artists will chronicle the voyage, scientists from the San Francisco Estuary Institute will provide environmental commentary during the sails, and John C. Muir (archaeologist and curator of small craft at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park), who led the building of the Park's Grace Quan, will be our skipper."


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A second program about the India Basin salt marsh in Hunter's Point will be held from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Ecocenter at Heron's Head Park, 32 Jennings St. in San Francisco.

Learn more about the project at chinese-whispers.org/events/bay-chronicles-2014/.

RICH FABRIC OF HISTORY: Aspects of domestic life during World War II are depicted in a new exhibit of contemporary quilts that opens this weekend at the Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park visitors center behind the Craneway Pavilion at 1414 Harbour Way South in Richmond.

"Quilts About the Home Front," which runs through Dec. 31, will include 45 pieces by members of the East Bay Heritage Quilters, along with accompanying stories covering topics such as women's experiences, victory gardens and Japanese American internment.

Some of the quilts were part of a display earlier this year at the Richmond Museum of History, while others have not been displayed publicly before.

An opening event at 11 a.m. Aug. 30 in the visitor center theater will include quilters discussing their memories and inspirations.

The center will have related events with featured quilters at 11 a.m. Oct. 11 and Nov. 15. Admission to the center and all programs is free.

For more details and directions to the center call 510-232-5050, ext. 0 or visit www.nps.gov/rori/planyourvisit/.

WEST COUNTY NOTES: The nonprofit Bright Futures day care and before and after school tutoring program in Richmond is holding its annual stage revue fundraising show, "Bright Futures Family Vacation," at 2 p.m. Aug. 30 in the Performing Arts Theater at El Cerrito High School, 540 Ashbury Ave.

The program serves children ages 3 to 17 from its location in the Hilltop neighborhood.

For tickets or details visit brightfuturesgdc.org.

  • Meet representatives of community organizations and learn how you can have a role guiding the future of young people at the Be a Mentor Blitz, a free family event from 2 to 5 p.m. Aug. 30 at the Richmond Police Acitivities League building, 2200 Macdonald Ave.

    Along with RPAL, participating organizations will include Girls Inc., Youth Enrichment Strategies, Building Blocks for Kids, YouthWORKS and the YMCA of the East Bay. Participants can also refer young people who would benefit from mentoring. Mayor Gayle McLaughlin will be the guest speaker and there will be raffles, food and light refreshments, and activities for children, including jumpers and face painting.

    For more details contact Brenda McCuistion at 510-621-1290.

  • Pam Peirce, author of home food-growing guide "Golden Gate Gardening," will give a free talk at 11 a.m. Aug. 30 at Annie's Annuals & Perennials, 740 Market Ave. in Richmond.

    "Pam will not only talk about what to plant in the fall, but what crops to plant early next year," note the folks at the nursery. "Not only do crops planted in fall require less water than summer crops, (those) planted in late winter will enjoy the same waterwise benefits and extend the harvest."

    Details: www.anniesannuals.com or 510-215-3301.

  • The fundraising campaign toward the needed matching funds for El Cerrito's purchase of the hillside property known as the Madera Open Space has reached $50,000. That's halfway to the fundraising goal, reports community group El Cerrito Trail Trekkers, which is spearheading the donation effort.

    Tax-deductible donations can be made online at ectrailtrekkers.org/madera/.

    The Trekkers and other groups are also holding a Music for Madera benefit concert from 2 to 6 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Community Center, 7007 Moeser Lane. Co-sponsors include the city's Arts and Culture Commission and Environmental Quality Committee.

  • How did the Richmond shipyards continue round-the-clock operations and still celebrate Labor Day in 1942? By renting all of Tilden Regional Park for the day and hosting a picnic attended by more than 10,000 workers and their families. Read about it on our blog at www.ibabuzz.com/westcounty/.

  • Paul Kratter, a veteran artist and illustrator of children's books, will be the featured guest at the El Cerrito Art Association meeting at 7 p.m. Sept. 8 at the Community Center, 7007 Moeser Lane. The public is welcome to attend.

    Contact Chris Treadway at 510-262-2784 or ctreadway@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/christreadway.