And then we had to walk. Sherady took this wonderful photo of Isaac, Allie, and Irene.
We all strolled along the waterfront walkway for a while, and then Jill and the gang returned to their car with plans for shopping in mind. John and Andrea, Sherady and Allie will all be returning home tomorrow, so we said our farewells. It was great being able to spend time with them.
Tom and I continued on, because we wanted to visit a special place we had read about after visiting the MOHI in Seattle and learning the plight of Chinese immigrants in Seattle and Tacoma in 1885.
This is Tacoma Chinese Reconciliation Park. It is a small site, set aside on what was once Tacoma's busy working waterway, for the purpose of "acknowledging the eviction of the Chinese immigrants, noting Tacoma's regret, and the desire to move ahead in unity and respect."
Signage tells the story as you follow the path.
Chinese immigrants came to Seattle and Tacoma to find work during the gold rush, to escape poverty, and to send money back home to impoverished family members.
The Chinese took jobs others didn't want: building railroads, digging mines, planting and harvesting crops. They fished, worked as cooks, laundrymen, barbers, servants, grocers, and merchants.
As the gold diminished and the economy declined, wages dropped and jobs became scarce. The Chinese became targets of discrimination and disrespect. The Depression of 1870 greatly intensified these feelings until in 1885 a decree went out that the Chinese would be evicted in a month's time. Many, fearing for their lives, left. In Tacoma about 200 remained.
On the set day a mob of armed men forcibly evicted them from the city, marched them to a train station eight miles away, and forced them onto a train bound for Portland, OR. Their homes were burned down behind them. The same thing was taking place in Seattle. Though an attempt was made, justice was never served against the perpetrators. Chinese people were not seen again in these cities until the 1920s.
This Chinese pavilion was a gift from the sister city of Fuzhou, China.
The carved stone lions are wonderful.
Carved stones depict the eviction.
History teaches us lessons if we listen. Uncertainty, especially financial insecurity, causes fear, and fear, when exploited, breeds evil.
As we moved away from this park, back toward the car park, we settled our minds on the beauty around us.
The sundial says 11:25, sun time, 12:25 DST. Time to make our way back home, filled with food and family time and an important lesson.