LA Chinatown Remembered

The Los Angeles Chinatown Remembered Project has two stated goals. On the one hand, we hope to document the memories of these pivotal decades in local history while we still have the opportunity to do so. On the other hand, we hope to expose a younger generation to the importance of preserving local history. As such, we look on the process of documenting history to be as important as the documentation itself. We see the Chinatown Remembered Project as not only a documentation project, but also as a way to attract a new and younger generation of young people to the important work of historical preservation.

Eleanor Soo Hoo Yee: Mei Wah Club Member

Written by William Gow Eleanor Soo Hoo, the youngest sister of Peter Soo Hoo Sr., was born in a house on Apablasa Street in Old Chinatown. Her mother was a Chinese American who grew up in Santa Barbara. Her father came to the United States as a boy of about 11 from Hoiping, China. He […]

Ruby Ling Louie, Ph.D.: A Multicultural Childhood

Written by Andrew Jung Trying to find a better life for his family, Ruby’s adventurous father traveled to Seattle, then to Chicago and finally settled in Los Angeles. An industrious entrepreneur, Ruby’s father participated in the World’s Fair in various cities. Ruby Ling Louie was born on April 11th, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois. Traveling seems […]

Johnny Young: From Chinatown to Manzanar

Written by  Annie Luong John Young was born in Los Angeles’ Old Chinatown in 1923. His father was born in Canton, China and immigrated to the United States in 1870 and was president of the Hop Sing Tong for 13 years. In 1906 he went back to San Francisco to marry Young’s mother who was […]

Marie Louie

Written by Annie Luong Marie Louie was born on Hill Street in downtown Los Angeles on April 6th, 1927. Her mother was born in Ventura in a place called “China Alley�? and moved to Los Angeles when she was nine. Her father came to the states from Hoi Ping, China in 1905, having studied medicine […]

Albert Lew: A Boy at the Sun Wing Wo Store

Written by Mary Chang Albert Lew was born in 1924 in Los Angeles’ Old Chinatown, on Alameda Street, across from what is now Union Station. Albert was the first in his family to be born in the United States. However, due to the Great Depression, Albert’s parents decided to move their family back to China […]

David Lee: From Man Jen Low To General Lee’s

Written by Annie Luong, Jenny Huynh & Sidney Vu Around 1910, David Fon Lee’s parents immigrated to the United States. From the same origins as Sun Yat-sen, David’s parents were from Jung San, Canton. His grandfather, who immigrated to the United States in the days of the transcontinental railroad, opened a restaurant on 7th Street, Central […]

Irvin Lai

Written by Annie Luong Irvin Lai was born in 1927 on a farm in the outskirts of Locke, California. His mother was born in San Francisco in 1904 and his father was the son of an American citizen, but was born in China and lived there until his twenties. Irvin remembers Locke being a small […]

Esther Lee Johnson: Movie Extra

Written by Annie Luong Esther Lee Johnson was born in 1930 during the Great Depression. In 1936, her family moved to Los Angeles’s old Chinatown and they would later on move into China City, where she would become one of the first Chinese Americans to participate in the film industry. One among four girls in […]

Ben Fong: American Soldier

Written by Annie Luong Ben Fong was born in December 1921 in Sacramento, California. There, his father was a partner in a wholesale and retail meat market on the main city business street, Kay Street. His father had a skin allergy in 1936, and the family moved to the East Adams area in Los Angeles. […]