Sunday, July 30, 2017

Brunch and a Stroll

This morning we joined Jill, the kids and their guests for a special brunch at Shenanigan's on Commencement Bay in Tacoma. The Sunday brunch there is amazing, and we all ate and ate and ate!

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. 


  1. I can't believe how mature Isaac and Irene look in that picture. Kids grow so quickly! The Chinese reconciliation park is an important reminder of what can happen when we let fear take over. On Saturday, September 16 from 2:00 to 7:00 there is a moon festival at the park. I've never been to the festival but hope to make it this year.

  2. Oh my, history could teach us so much but I fear the leaders of our country are not listening. So fun to see Jill with all the people she attracts. That girl knows how to show people a good time.

  3. I am astounded at how grown up the kids look, too. It's a wonderful picture, and I also appreciated you telling me the sad history lesson about the Chinese immigrants in the area. Thanks for the pictures, too. :-)

  4. history holds too many sad chapters in America and elsewhere which continue today...

  5. I'll bet you're glad you visited the park. Over time there have been many incidents where people have been used and then violently sent away. The present guy trump, is trying to do the same thing with Mexicans .

  6. That Chinese historic part was very elaborate. Nice that you keep those memories for those who came before. Refugees built the Americas in so many ways.

  7. You really have some great looking grands. Wow, are they growing up. I didn't know the terribly sad history of the Chinese eviction. Sometimes it is embarrassing to be white.

  8. Fascinating about the Chinese eviction. I wonder how they did in Oregon and beyond.

    I have heard that the "new" Chinese are buying properties in Seattle. Someone told me that the wave began after two top Chinese movie stars made a movie called "Finding Mr. Right". It was filmed entirely in Seattle. I suppose they liked how the houses looked, and the misty weather. They pay in cash and property values keep increasing. So much so that my daughter and her fiance are having a hard time finding a place they can afford to buy.

  9. That really is a good picture of the children. The story of the Chinese is very sad. I had never heard about that before.


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