San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

There is a hidden gem in San Francisco that many people may not know about, tourists and locals alike. There is not a lot of information on their website. It is at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park and is part of the National Park System. This park is near Fisherman’s Wharf on the pier. At the Hyde Street Pier, there are historic steam and sailing vessels along with other maritime exhibits. San Francisco has been a major West Coast city since the 1800s, played a major part in maritime exploration, was a major port city at the time, … Continue reading San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

Chinese History of Alaska’s Canning Industry

Katherine Ringsmuth, a historian and a professor at University of Alaska, first introduced me to Jeff Chen who is a video producer for Alaska Insight, a public affairs show on Alaska Public Media. Jeff was interested in doing a story on the contribution of Asian cannery workers in salmon canning industry, starting with the Chinese workers. Jeff called me about this project, and I suggested a number of people he could talk to. However, due to the time constraint of the video, Jeff had to limit the number of people in the interviews to three, which include Katherine, myself, and … Continue reading Chinese History of Alaska’s Canning Industry

Kristin Wong’s Story

While working on Fred Wong’s story, I learned that all of his three daughters also worked in Alaska canneries. Before we finished his story, I asked him to get his daughters to write about their own cannery experiences. After a few months of waiting, I finally received the script along with an email from his eldest daughter, Kristin, who had worked in Alaska for six summers. Here is an excerpt of her email: “I hope you are doing well in this new year along with your family. This past year and then the last several months have been quite hectic … Continue reading Kristin Wong’s Story

Fred Wong’s Amazing Career

I first contacted Fred Wong in October 2020, when my brother Philip and I were preparing for a talk at Chinese Historical Society of America in San Francisco. The subject of the talk was “Chinese Workers and the Early History of Salmon Canneries”. After CHSA made its announcement, one member wrote to CHSA and kindly suggested me to contact his friend Fred in Oregon. I decided to follow up. Actually, that was not the first time I tried to contact Fred. In fact, I have read something about him and a brief summary his 50+ years career in Alaska canneries. … Continue reading Fred Wong’s Amazing Career

Almost 50 years ago…

It was in early June 1970, that we had this photo taken at International Longshoremen and Warehousemen’s Union (ILWU) Local 37 in Seattle, Washington. From left, we have Michael, Philip, Jim, Allen, and Willie. It was a day of dispatching, and we were there awaiting eagerly for an opportunity to find employment in Alaska canneries. We were all college students and foreign students from Taiwan, in our late teens. My twin brother, Philip, and I, were freshmen from University of Washington. Michael and Allen are also brothers and college students, whom we had known for several years from our days … Continue reading Almost 50 years ago…