Chinese in St. Louis, 1857-2007
In 1857, Alla Lee, a 24yearold native of Ningbo, China, seeking a better life, came to St. Louis. A decade later, Lee was joined by several hundred of his countrymen from San Francisco and New York who were seeking jobs in mines and factories in and around St. Louis. Most of these Chinese workers lived in boardinghouses located near a street called Hop Alley. In time, Chinese hand laundries, merchandise stores, herb shops, restaurants, and clan association headquarters sprang up in and around that street, forming St. Louis Chinatown. Hop Alley survived with remarkable resilience and energy until 1966 when urban renewal bulldozers leveled the area to make a parking lot for Busch Stadium. A new suburban Chinese American community has been quietly, yet rapidly, emerging since the 1960s in the form of cultural community, where the Chinese churches, Chineselanguage schools, and community organizations serve as the infrastructure of the community.
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Angel Island Annie Leong Archives-Pacific Sierra Region author's collection California Chen Yin China Chinese business Chinese churches Chinese community Chinese Exclusion Act Chinese families Chinese Gospel Mission Chinese grocery stores Chinese hand laundries Chinese immigrants Chinese in St Chinese laborers Chinese language Chinese language schools Chinese laundry Chinese merchant Chinese professionals Chinese restaurant Chinese St community in St community organizations Company cultural community economic engineering ethnic Gee brothers Hong's Hop Alley Huping Ling immigration station Jim Talent left to right Lillie Hong located Louis Chinatown Louis Chinese Academy Louis Chinese American Louis Chinese Association Louis Chinese Gospel Louis Mercantile Library Louis Modern Chinese Louisans MCASTA Missouri Historical Society Missouri History Museum Modern Chinese School National Archives-Pacific Sierra Nelson Wu Olive Boulevard owner Photograph by Huping pictured in 1999 pictured in 2006 San Bruno Sunday school U.S. citizens Valhalla Cemetery Wah Laundry Washington University wife William Tao