Salinas Chinatown Exhibit - April 23, 2010
Exhibit runs until July 4th, 2010

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Republic Cafe historical site Dorman Louie's Photo

Photos by Elmer Apsam Dolera

Grand Opening of the National Steinbeck Center Chinatown exhibit! Friday, April 23rd saw the Grand Opening of the Exhibit on the History of Salinas Chinatown 1893 to 1980, focusing from 1920's to 1950's. Museum Curator Deborah Silguero organized Chinese artifacts and photos, mainly from the collections of Wellington Lee and Wallace Ahtye.

Wellington Lee is the Grand-son of Shorty Lee & Son of Albert Lee. He has collected much of his material from his Grandfather's holdings. Wellington lived on 121/2 Soledad from 1944 until after finished school in Salinas.

Wallace Ahtye, son of Wallace Ahtye, Sr and grandson of Sam Ahtye, lived in Chinatown from 1930 thru 1955 as a resident on Soledad St, and ran a business in Chinatown until 1965. Wallace lived behind the Republic Hotel, 47 Soledad St., but had an entrance to the family residence on 129 Sausal St. (latter named Market St. and now named Market Way).

Traditional Lion Dance opened the Exhibit

Leonard Han's Lion Dance Group

Wellington Lee, Shorty Lee's grand-son

Deborah Silguero - Steinbeck Curator, Wellington Lee & Wallace Ahtye

There's a short introductory film put together by California State University, Monterey Bay oral history students that's running on a continuous loop in a side room.

The exhibit featurs photos mainly from 1920's to 1950's; you will see how Chinatown looked like during that period, photos of families that lived in Chinatown, photos of children playing in Chinatown, a photo of the first Chinese School on the corner of Soledad & Lake Sts., and finally when the new Chinese School built in 1937 & how the school influenced the Chinese children for that generation.

Invited guests to the reception numbered in the hundreds. The night's entertainment included music composed by Bob Danziger and Andrew Waters for this occasion, a Lion Dance by Leonard Han & his group of performers, and traditional Chinese music. Included in the exhibit is Chinese art and calligraphy by local Salinas resident Wenson Louie, who has resided in Salinas since the 1940's.

Sandra Wong, Linda Gin, Wallace Ahtye,Alan Wing, Martha Chin Jone, Mary Chin Lee, Lori Wing & Daughter

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