The society has raised sufficient funds from the SeeYup Chinese miners to purchase blocks of land in Ragland and Cobden street in 1850. A timber structure was built that functioned as a club house and temporary lodging. A fire destroyed the wooden structure and a new building was constructed on the same site.
Above – A city map of Emerald hill in 1850s, highlighted in red is the site of SeeYup temple.
Miners from over 80 gold mine fields donated addition funds for construction of the permanent structure that still stands today. The names of these 2,000 donners can be seen on two granite tablets inside the temple.
In the original building plan showed 3 buildings, a main hall of worship (the Joss house) in the center, a utility building on the left, and an ancestry hall on the right. There were separate entrances.
The building is orientated to have doors facing south. This is particularly auspicious direction for temples and ancestry halls.
Above – SeeYup society and temple, c 1870.
The construction took two years, and was completed 1856. The picture above was taken in 1870s, the front court yard with a flag pole. A club insignia, with a letter ‘S’ marked in the centre hung over head in the front entrance. There were two large lanterns, on either side of the entrance.
Source : American & Australasian Photographic Company, State Library of Victoria, Accession No: H82.122/4
Attached above is the original plan of the building submitted to municipality in 1850s. The structure and the general façade of the building have not changed over the last 170 years.