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Friday, September 25, 2009

Chinatown’s People (Pacific Coast Canning Co.)

This article was found in the Oakland Magazine, September-October 2009 edition, Legacies section:

Chinatown’s People by William Wong

An Oral-History Project Preserves the Chinese Experience

[Excerpts]

Jean Moon Liu is a granddaughter of Lew Hing, who started the Pacific Coast Canning Co. in West Oakland in 1904, a business that provided canned fruits and vegetables nationwide and to U.S. military personnel in Europe during World War I.

Their stories — and that of a few others I have gathered — collectively represent a “bridge generation” between long-gone Chinese Oaklanders who lived during the harshest days of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and those who came of age after World War II …

As a child, Jean Moon Liu remembers her grandfather, the tycoon Lew Hing, living in a house built near Lake Merritt, a locale generally unfriendly to Chinese families in the early 20th century. Lew Hing was prominent in both Oakland and San Francisco Chinatowns.

Jean went on to a productive work life as an accountant for both private and nonprofit organizations. Her daughter, Carol Liu, has been a member of the California Legislature since 2000 (Assembly for six years, Senate since 2008). Jean Moon Liu, 91, still lives in Oakland.

[Full Story]

Other interesting information:

Lew Hing's Pacific Coast Canning Company (Naruta 2005)

From the Pacific Coast Canning Company to the Pacific Cannery Lofts, Click Here

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