History

Chinese American History in Solano County

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From the book Five Views: An Ethnic Historic Site Survey for California, Dr. Nancy Wey writes that:

“Chinese American history is a living, continuous history, as shown by the numbers of fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-generation Chinese Americans in California and elsewhere in the United States. … The early Chinese immigrant population did not die out but survived despite the racial violence, discriminatory legislation, restrictive covenants, and limited opportunity. Amid the increased numbers of Chinese immigrants in recent years, it should be remembered that not all Chinese Americans are recent arrivals.”

Pictured above is Hi Chung Laundry, located in Elmira, Solano County. It is the only Chinese American historic site building in Elmira designated by the National Parks Services. According to Dr. Wey:

“This was a difficult time for Chinese Americans in the laundry business. Although they had been well accepted as laundrymen from the 1850s to the mid-1870s when no one else was available or wished to do this work, hostility grew as their prosperity grew. Men who previously would not have done “women’s work” reconsidered. Organizations were formed to push Chinese Americans out of the laundry business.”