California Children’s Choir celebrates 20 yeas with a performing tour to China

The Sacramento Children’s Chorus announces it will travel to China this summer as part of a performing tour to celebrate its 20th anniversary season. The touring choir (approximately 30 singers) will begin their journey in the capital city of Beijing, then train to historic Xi’an, fly to the country’s cultural center of Hangzhou, and bus to the international metropolis of Shanghai.

Throughout the tour, the choir will sing in some extraordinary concert halls, including a joint performance with a Chinese children’s choir at the Concert Hall of the Hangzhou Grand Theater.

The group will also visit numerous educational and artistic sites along the way: the Imperial Palace, Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall, Olympic Stadiums, the Terra Cotta Workshop & Museum, a gondola ride in the water town of Xi Tang, an acrobatic show, a jade factory, and other significant venues.

The SCC is comprised of five choirs with over 150 children. Singers vary in age from elementary and middle school, to high school and the first year of college.

The SCC collaborates with other choirs and musicians to present concerts that enrich each performer’s music experience and to inspire audiences. SCC choirs showcase music from diverse cultures and historical periods – performing not only classical and contemporary choral music, but jazz, folksongs and spirituals – in many different languages.

Last month, the Children’s Chorus performed to a sold-out audience at its spring concert, For the Joy of Singing, at the historic Crest Theatre in downtown Sacramento. Highlights from the concert included a wonderful film-themed medley to recognize the Crest’s 100th Anniversary and a showcase ensemble featuring over 40 SCC alumni who traveled from across the country to be a part of this special concert.

SCC Artistic Director Lynn Stevens states, “Over the past 20 seasons we have served as ambassadors of music, traveling to such places as England, France, Hungary, the Czech Republic, British Columbia, Hawaii, Norway and Sweden. In addition, the SCC has hosted choirs from as far away as Denmark and Korea. Our mission is to provide music education that creates a lifelong love of music in young singers and inspires audiences through beautiful music. Learning and sharing diverse music enriches children beyond measure.”

A free concert will highlight some of the music that will be sung in the People’s Republic. The repertoire includes songs in at least seven languages. This send-off concert will be held on Wednesday, June 12 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd located at 1615 Morse Ave., Sacramento 95864.

For more information, visit: www.sacramentochildrenschorus.org or call 646-1141.

Buffalo Brewery men were interred at East Lawn Memorial Park

Editor’s Note: This is part 10 in a series about the rich history of and associated with East Sacramento’s award-winning East Lawn Memorial Park.

Sacramento has been known as a political city, a city of trees and many other things during a large portion of its existence. And among its greatest achievements was becoming a city of breweries, which included the Buffalo Brewing Company.
In the previous article of this series, Philip Scheld, who was interred at East Lawn Cemetery (today’s East Lawn Memorial Park), was celebrated for his proprietorship of the Sacramento Brewery, which was established a short distance from Sutter’s Fort in 1849.
Many other breweries were opened in the capital city during the 19th century.
An example of the production of local breweries during the 19th century was recorded in the county assessment books for 1872.
This source notes that in that year, Sacramento had eight breweries that produced 252,000 gallons of beer.
Furthermore, according to the 1880 book, “The History of Sacramento County, California,” the area’s eight local breweries in 1878 “made, in aggregate, 530,200 gallons of beer, and in 1879, 560,000 (gallons of beer).”
With a walk around East Lawn Memorial Park, one can find the final resting places of several men who were associated with the Buffalo Brewing Company, which was also known as the Buffalo Brewery, and was for many years under the direction of Buffalo Brewery, Inc.
Certainly the most notable of these brewery men were the German-born Herman H. Grau (1846-1915) and William E. Gerber (1852-1928), who were both interred at East Lawn Cemetery.
Herman, a former East Coast brewer who came to Sacramento from Buffalo, N.Y. in about 1886, was the man who organized the Buffalo Brewery, which would eventually become the largest brewery west of the Mississippi.
At the age of 12, Herman came to America and settled in Buffalo, N.Y.
Along with his wife, New York native J.F. Bertha (Ziegele) Grau (1848-1915), who he married in Buffalo prior to coming to Sacramento, Herman had nine children.
Herman’s association with William became an important part of the city’s brewery history, as these men laid out the plans for the Buffalo Brewery.
In addition to his involvement with the Buffalo Brewery, William, a New York native who came to Sacramento in 1860 and was eventually the secretary of the Buffalo Brewery, served, at different times during his life, as president of the California National Bank and chairman of that bank’s board.
William, who studied in Sacramento schools and the St. Louis Academy and at a business school in Buffalo, was also, at a various times, a bookkeeper and co-owner of a grocery store, state fish and game commissioner, auditor of Sacramento County and the city treasurer of Sacramento.
Also interred at the cemetery was Hattie A. Gerber (1857-1928), who was the mother of his five children.
Construction on the Buffalo Brewery, which was located on the block bounded by 21st, 22nd, Q and R streets, began in 1888.
In being that this section of Sacramento was many years away from being built out at that time, upon its completion, the large brewery structure could be seen from a considerable distance within the city.
With the opening of the Buffalo Brewery in 1890, Herman became the company’s first general manager and Adolph Heilbron (1833-1913) served as the brewery’s first president. Heilbron’s final resting place is located at the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery at 1000 Broadway.
Also interred at East Lawn were Henry Gerber (1851-1928), one of the brewery’s first stockholders, and Henry I. Seymour (1861-1913).
Seymour was among the prominent men of the brewery, as he replaced Grau as the company’s general manager in 1896 and continued to serve in that role for 17 years.
But Seymour was not new to the brewery when he became its general manager, as he had been working for the brewery since 1890.
Another well-known person in local brewery history was Sacramento native Frank J. Ruhstaller (1872-1943), whose father was Swiss native Frank Ruhstaller (1846-1907), who was an original officer of the Buffalo Brewery.
The brewery resume of Frank Ruhstaller, who was interred at today’s Sacramento Historic City Cemetery, also included serving as the proprietor of the City Brewery at the northeast corner of 12th and H streets and the superintendent of the Sacramento Brewing Co.
As for the resume of Frank J. Ruhstaller, he became the president of the Buffalo Brewery in 1913, following the death of Heilbron. He retired from that position in April 1939.
Additionally, the younger Ruhstaller served as the assistant manager of the City Brewery and superintendent of the Sacramento Brewing Co., and was a member of the city’s war rationing board during World War II.
In speaking about Frank J. Ruhstaller during his retirement dinner at the old Elks Temple at 11th and J streets, Superior Court Judge Peter J. Shields said, “Charities, kindnesses and justices have characterized his whole existence. The aroma of good deeds during his life has perfumed the entire community. He has been modest, never seeking the limelight nor the vanities of life.”
Frank J. Ruhstaller’s wife, Alice Marie (Root) Ruhstaller (1871-1969), was also interred at East Lawn. The couple, who was married in Sacramento on Nov. 22, 1899, was residents of East Sacramento, residing in the Fabulous Forties neighborhood at 1301 44th St.
Much has been said and written about the Buffalo Brewery, which created beer that was popular well beyond Sacramento.
During its pre-Prohibition days, the Buffalo Brewery distributed its beer great distances.
In addition to shipping this beverage to many parts of Northern California, including San Francisco, the brewery also sent its beer to the Hawaiian Islands, Alaska, Central America, along the Mediterranean, Russia, Japan and China.
A summary about the brewery in the Feb. 2, 1907 edition of The Union included the following words: “Sacramento boasts of many large manufacturing enterprises, but none are more in keeping with the general progress of this section than (the Buffalo Brewery). It is known by the excellence of its product. New Brew and Bohemian, its special brands, are known throughout the Pacific Coast. Ask any dealer and he will tell you there are none superior to them.”
The brewery, which experienced much physical growth at its local plant, returned to full, post-Prohibition production in December 1933 and continued its operations at its historic site until 1949.
The brewery buildings were razed in 1949 and 1950 in preparation for the construction of the newspaper, radio and television operations of McClatchy Newspapers – publishers of The Sacramento Bee – which was then headed by its president, Eleanor McClatchy.

Lance@valcomnews.com

American Watercolor Traveling Watercolor Exhibit now showing at Sacramento Fine Arts Center

Judi Betts, "Hat Dance"

Judi Betts, "Hat Dance"

The American Watercolor Society Traveling Exhibition has made its way from New York to Carmichael at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center, the only venue on the West Coast.

World class artists, Vangeli, Wiegardt, Birnbaum and California’s own Frank Eber, whose brushes pirouette, spiral and leap across the canvas as they fence and feint with paint, flowing and splattering, opaque and transparent, create breathtaking visions of life through the magic of light and color.

Members accepted into the prestigious American Watercolor Society in New York represent the most highly technical and experimental watercolor painters in the world. California master artist Frank Eber’s “Dordongne River Valley View” dreams of Shangrila, Australian artist Joseph Zbukvic’s misty “Morning Gallop” delights of races not yet won, and China’s Zhou Tianya’s “St. Temple” beckons momentary meditation.

These masters of light and color will dazzle your pleasure now until Jan. 26 at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours are daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Exhibit ticket donation $10..

A Second Saturday Reception will be held Jan. 12, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The Sacramento Fine Arts Center is located at 5330B Gibbons Drive, Carmichael, CA 95608. For more information, call 704-8611 or Visit: www.sacfinearts.org

South Land Park resident donates funds to local Chinese school

Editor’s note: Lance Armstrong’s series on dairies in Land Park will be continued on Dec. 27.

South Land Park resident Dr. Herbert Yee, far right, recently donated a $12,500 check to Sacramento’s Confucius Chinese School. To the left of Yee stand three of the school’s students, who are holding a sign representing the school’s appreciation for this charitable donation. Photo by Lance Armstrong

South Land Park resident Dr. Herbert Yee, far right, recently donated a $12,500 check to Sacramento’s Confucius Chinese School. To the left of Yee stand three of the school’s students, who are holding a sign representing the school’s appreciation for this charitable donation. Photo by Lance Armstrong

South Land Park resident and philanthropist Dr. Herbert Yee, who is also recognized for his many years of working as a dentist in the capital city, makes it no secret that he is a staunch supporter of education.
Already known for assisting in the advancement of education through other projects, Herbert recently presented a check in the amount of $12,500 to Sacramento’s Confucius Chinese School.
The school, which has an enrollment of about 70 students, received this charitable donation during a special dinner honoring Herbert. The donation will be used for teachers’ salaries, janitorial services and school supplies.
The event, which was held on Sunday, Dec. 2 at Rice Bowl restaurant at 2378 Florin Road, began with a performance by some of the school’s students, who sang “God Bless America.”

Left to right, Dr. Jong Chen, Senator Leland Yee, Dr. Herbert Yee and Supervisor Jimmie Yee pose for this photograph after Leland Yee presented Herbert Yee with a state senate proclamation. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Left to right, Dr. Jong Chen, Senator Leland Yee, Dr. Herbert Yee and Supervisor Jimmie Yee pose for this photograph after Leland Yee presented Herbert Yee with a state senate proclamation. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Directing the event, which was attended by about 250 people, were its masters of ceremony Alfred Yee, the school’s principal, who spoke in English, and Henry Yee, who spoke in Chinese.
Represented at the event were the local Chinese Confucius Church and school, the Chinese Benevolent Association of Sacramento, the Yee Association and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Association.
And attending the gathering as special honored guests were Alan Yee, the western grand president of the Yee Association from Los Angeles, Eddie Yee, the president of San Francisco’s Yee Association, Yi Hua Yu of Stockton’s Yee Association and Bill Wong, president of the Chinese Benevolent Association of San Francisco.
As a prelude to the dinner, the event included several speakers and presentations.
Among these speakers were Senator Leland Yee, who represents District 8 in the western half of San Francisco and the majority of San Mateo County, Sacramento County Supervisor Jimmie Yee, Dr. Jong Chen, president of the Chinese Benevolent Association of Sacramento, and Frank Kwong, president of the Sun Yat-sen Memorial and Soo Yuen Benevolent associations.
In speaking beyond the topic of Herbert’s monetary contributions, Kwong said, “(Herbert is) the nicest person, he’s my mentor, he’s a good friend, a good father. That means a lot to our community. It’s a good example of how we put our community together.”
Herbert also spoke to the gathering’s attendees, who also included his wife, Inez, their sons, Randy, Alan and Wesley, their four daughter-in-laws, and five of their grandchildren.

Dr. Herbert Yee (upper right, holding microphone) is joined on stage by students and other representatives of the local Confucius Chinese School. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Dr. Herbert Yee (upper right, holding microphone) is joined on stage by students and other representatives of the local Confucius Chinese School. Photo by Lance Armstrong

In honor of his goodwill to the Sacramento community, Herbert was presented with a state senate proclamation from Leland Yee.
He also received a proclamation from the People’s Republic of China and a plaque from the Chinese Benevolent Association of Sacramento.
And as a show of appreciation for Herbert’s financial donation to the school, students of the school presented him with a large, artistically decorated, heavy stock paper that included a drawing of an apple on a stack of books and a bullhorn-like image with the words: “Thank you, Dr. Yee, Confucius Chinese School.”
Surrounding these features were signatures of the school’s students.
Herbert is very well connected to Sacramento’s Confucius Chinese School, considering that in addition to attending the school himself, his father, Henry, and all of his sons and grandchildren were once students at the school.
Furthermore, Henry, Herbert and Randy Yee have all served on the school’s board.

Wesley Yee, the fourth son of Herbert and Inez Yee, gave a speech about his father’s life. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Wesley Yee, the fourth son of Herbert and Inez Yee, gave a speech about his father’s life. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Herbert described his longtime involvement in assisting in the advancement of education and his overall love for education.
“My love is in education,” Herbert said. “I built a school in China. That’s education. I’m on the board of the University of the Pacific. That’s education. I love the Chinese school. That’s education. I have an exhibit at the (California State) Railroad Museum. I’m on the board yet, 32 years. And that’s education about trains, transportation. I have a hologram at The California Museum about the history of our family, so that’s education. In Fiddletown, you’ll see my great-grandfather’s herb store. So, I am more attuned to encourage young people to go to college, and especially the Chinese. But now you really don’t need to encourage them. They know, especially the immigrants who come from even Vietnam, Thailand, Korea, China. That’s why (at the University of California,) Berkeley, more than half of the students are Asian, because their parents encouraged them to study.”
Herbert, who graduated from Sacramento High School in June 1942, said that his own father, who began attending Stanford University in 1918, encouraged him to attend schools to further his education.
“I skipped low 7th (grade) and I just went straight from 6th grade to high 7th (grade) and I skipped the last six months of high school,” Herbert said. “Of course, my father pushed me a little bit. Then he said, ‘You try Stanford.’ I didn’t know it was so tough to get (into Stanford), but I got in. I was there 70 years ago. Now I’m 88, almost.”
Eventually, Herbert spent more than a half century working as a dentist. This time included his work as the official dentist for the staff of governors Pat Brown and Ronald Reagan.

Confucius Chinese School students and several adults sang, “God Bless America,” at the event. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Confucius Chinese School students and several adults sang, “God Bless America,” at the event. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Herbert, who is a longtime member of the Sutter Club, American Legion Post 692, Lion’s Club District 4 C5 and Del Paso Country Club, has served as president of many organizations, including the California State Board of Dental Examiners, American Cancer Society for Sacramento County, Sacramento Chinese Benevolent Association and the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Association.
Additionally, Herbert recently reached a milestone as a South Land Park resident.
After experiencing difficulty purchasing a home in the area due to his ethnicity, Herbert was finally able to buy his current home on Nov. 2, 1952.
He celebrated the 60th anniversary of this event with his sons, and noted, “Dad is kind of a sentimental guy.”
In speaking about his achievement of purchasing a home in South Land Park, Herbert said, “I was one of the first (Chinese to live in the area). I don’t want to claim to be the (first). Since that time, quite a number of Asians have lived here.”
With his love for education, Herbert said that he is proud that his sons were able to graduate from college and become successful in their professional lives.
Randy is a retired dentist, as well as a member of the Confucius Chinese School board, Alan is a pulmonary doctor, Wesley is a dentist, and his late son, Douglas, was a dentist.
Herbert and Inez also have a granddaughter, Juliana, who is attending Stanford Law School.
Wesley, who gave a speech about his father’s life during the event, recognized the importance of his mother in his Herbert’s life.
“What my father accomplished would not have happened without the love his life and his soul mate, our mother, Inez,” Wesley said. “She raised four boys, was a Cub Scouts den leader, attended our PTA meetings and worked in my father’s office. Later she would accompany my father worldwide on his missions to help people around the world and in our nation.”
As a man who is always involved in many projects, Herbert does not feel that the word, “retired,” is a word that would best describe his current status in life.
“Now, I’d like to say I’m retired, but you know a man like me, we never retire,” Herbert said. “My mind is always thinking. I always say when I wake up in the morning, I want to think that I want to be a better person – a better person today than yesterday. And I want to see how I can best take care of my little wife, who I married 67, going on 68 years (ago), and, of course, my family and all the business I have.”

Lance@valcomnews.com

JFK students return from China, share their experiences

Editor’s note: Students from JFK High School traveled to Sacramento’s Sister City Jinan, China over the summer to learn about Chinese culture. Here are some first-hand accounts of their time.

 Students from JFK High School traveled to Sacramento’s Sister City Jinan, China over the summer to learn about Chinese culture. These are photos from their trip. / Photos by Deion Sugianto

Students from JFK High School traveled to Sacramento’s Sister City Jinan, China over the summer to learn about Chinese culture. These are photos from their trip. / Photos by Deion Sugianto

Daniel Li (JFK Senior): I had a very unique opportunity of traveling across the world to Sacramento’s Sister City Jinan as a youth ambassador. It was inspiring to me because I was enlightened by this extraordinary culture. I am very gratified for the opportunity that the Jinan-Sacramento Sister Cities Corporation provided me, this opportunity allowed me to experience China’s educational system and culture first hand.

Spending time with my host family allowed me to experience the authentic Chinese culture. They brought me to several different places so that I would have a solid understanding of Chinese history and culture. It was completely different from what I had learned in the classroom. All the textbooks and class time could never amount to how much I learned from actually being therein the ancient streets of China, or Wutongs. Although it was quite embarrassing, it was a great experience keeping a conversation with my host family going with the Chinese I learned from my teacher Mrs. Hatamiya. I learned so much even in the simplest conversations with my host family because I had to actively listen and form a response with my broken Chinese. The trip was filled with fun and learning.

China changed me as a human being.  I definitely recommend all students to at least give Chinese level 1 a shot because Mrs. Hatamiya is the best teacher ever. Without her, I wouldn’t have gotten the scholarship to go on this trip that changed my life forever.

Ariel Heim (JFK Sophomore): The trip to China was a very good overall experience. The food was great; the best food I tasted while staying there were the dumplings and dough balls. The cultural aspect of it was also unforgettable, for example the Great Wall of China was very fun to climb although it was extremely hot. Now I can tell my friends and family that I climbed part of the Great Wall of China and show them my t-shirt. The Forbidden City was also an amazing experience. I even got to walk on the bridge that was originally made only for royal people. The Jade Museum was fun too, I got so much stuff for my family that was made out of jade and it was by far the best experience. I also visited community sites. I had a chance to visit the park, which was very big with a lot going on. It had great games and a huge monument that was beautiful. I also had the chance to visit the Zoo, I got to see animals that you wouldn’t normally see here and I also had the opportunity to feed bears which was so much different. The zoo even had water rides and a Ferris wheel. I had the fortune opportunity to see the whole park from the top of the Ferris wheel and it was a jaw-dropping sight. Lastly, the shopping was something to die for. The malls were very expensive but fortunately, we were able to go into underground market that had stores with amazing prices. I brought back a handful of good from China for a memory. This was one of the eye-opening experiences in my life; I was able to see a whole different culture through this trip.

Herbert Yee: Cultivating growth in Sacramento

Well-known Sacramento resident, retired dentist Dr. Herbert Yee may have recently turned 87 years old, but his age has certainly not hindered his motivation to contribute to the community.

HERBERT YEE stands in front of the soon-to-be-opened Sunflower Farmers Market on Del Rio Road, just south of the Sacramento Zoo. / Valley Community Newspapers photo, Lance Armstrong

HERBERT YEE stands in front of the soon-to-be-opened Sunflower Farmers Market on Del Rio Road, just south of the Sacramento Zoo. / Valley Community Newspapers photo, Lance Armstrong

His latest contribution is bringing a unique, 30,000-square-foot grocery store to local shoppers at his South Land Park shopping center, just south of the Sacramento Zoo.

Market coming this spring

While spending a moment at the shopping center last week, Herbert enthusiastically shared details about the soon-to-be-opened Sunflower Farmers Market.

“We have been working since June 1 on the new market,” Herbert said. “They signed the lease on June 1, we hired a contractor, named Headwater, and the owners (of Headwater) are (former Sacramento vice mayor) Doug Pope and Norm Marshall. Sunflower is a market from (Boulder) Colorado. They’re based there and they have big warehouses in Phoenix, Ariz. and they’re in New Mexico and they’re now in California. They’re also in Las Vegas, Nev., where they have two stores. Right now they have about 33 stores and three more developing. They opened their first (local) one six months ago in Roseville Square and then about a month ago, they opened one in Modesto, and a third one in this area, then they have one in Fremont and one planned in Mountain View and San Jose, so they’re moving.”

Altogether, this nearly 10-year-old grocery store chain operates markets in eight states, including all of the aforementioned states, as well as in Utah, Texas and Oklahoma.

Sunflower, which is scheduled to open in Herbert’s shopping center in May, is the response to a failed attempt to complete a deal that would have brought a Trader Joe’s specialty grocery store to the same site last year.

Herbert speaks very highly about Sunflower, which is dedicated to providing its customers with natural and organic products at reasonable prices.

“I am very impressed with Sunflower,” Herbert said. “They promise that they will buy locally. They have five air conditioners upstairs. Four of them are 12 and a half tons, one is seven tons. And I said, ‘Why do you need so much air conditioning?’ They said, ‘We want to keep the vegetables fresh.’”

Sunflower’s departments include meat and seafood, bakery and deli, natural living, dairy/frozen, beer and wine and floral items. The chain purchases almost all of its products by the pallet or truckload in order to save money. Sunflower then passes part of its savings on to customers.

Furthermore, the store does not charge its vendors for shelf space and it has no membership cards or complicated discount schemes.

HUMANITARIAN. Herbert Yee provided the finances for the Kee Siu School in his hometown in China. / Photo courtesy, Herbert Yee

HUMANITARIAN. Herbert Yee provided the finances for the Kee Siu School in his hometown in China. / Photo courtesy, Herbert Yee

In its efforts to provide its customers with low prices, the store is dedicated to its motto, “Better than supermarket quality at better than supermarket prices” and its slogan, “Serious food, silly prices.”

Sunflower Farmers Market will fill the southern end of the South Land Park shopping center on Del Rio Road. The shopping center also includes La Bou Bakery and Café, Parkside Pharmacy and Macau Café.

In addition to bringing a new market to South Land Park, Herbert, who is a 1942 graduate of Sacramento High School and a World War II veteran, has kept active with many other properties and activities during his life.

Dentist to Calif. governors

Many locals remember Herbert for his success in dentistry, as he spent 54 years in this profession, including his time as the official dentist for the staff of two governors – Pat Brown and Ronald Reagan.

Community leader

Herbert’s many titles that he has held read like credits at the end of a feature film.

SO ALL MAY LEARN. This cultural center and library, which was funded by Herbert Yee, opened in China in 2007. / Photo courtesy, Herbert Yee

SO ALL MAY LEARN. This cultural center and library, which was funded by Herbert Yee, opened in China in 2007. / Photo courtesy, Herbert Yee

Among the many special positions that he has held are president of the California State Board of Dental Examiners, regent of the University of Pacific, president of the UOP Dental School Alumni Association, president of the International College of Dentists, president of the American Cancer Society for Sacramento County, counselor of the American Dental Association’s Council on Dental Education, district governor of Lion’s Club District 4 C5, president of the Sacramento Chinese Benevolent Association, president of the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Association and president of the Yee Fong Toy family association.

He has served on the California State Railroad Museum Foundation board for about the past 30 years.

A presidential commendation

In 1984, Herbert was named president of the U.S. section of the International College of Dentists at the annual convention in Atlanta.

In acknowledging Herbert’s naming to this position, President Ronald Reagan sent a letter to Herbert that included the following words: “This honor reflects your commitment to your profession and to the organization paying tribute to you. By your service as a dentist and as a member of your community, you have made outstanding contributions. In every area where you work, whether as a member of your profession or as a concerned citizen, your dedication is greatly respected.”

WWII VETERAN. Herbert Yee served in the U.S. Army from January 1944 to October 1945. / Photo courtesy, Herbert Yee

WWII VETERAN. Herbert Yee served in the U.S. Army from January 1944 to October 1945. / Photo courtesy, Herbert Yee

Active gentleman of the community

Herbert, who also owns the buildings occupying Pizza Hut, Kamon Sushi restaurant and bar and A & A Company video, cellular phones, music, etc. at the southwest corner of 16th and V streets, the Asian Food Center at 1301 Broadway and Bud’s Buffet at 1016 10th Street. He is a longtime member of the Sutter Club, American Legion Post 692, Lion’s Club District 4 C5, the Sacramento Pioneer Association and the Del Paso Country Club.

Humanitarian

He has also contributed to his native land through his funding of the construction of China’s Kee Siu School, which opened on Sept. 28, 1981, and a cultural center and library named after himself and his father, Henry Yee. The cultural center and library opened in China in 2007.

Descendant of Sacramento pioneers

Although Herbert did not arrive in the United States at Angel Island as an immigrant from Sing Tonga, Kee Siu, Toi Shan, China until he was 6 years old on May 1, 1931, his family history in Sacramento dates back to the 19th century.

Herbert’s great-grandfather, an herbalist, named Dr. Wah Hing (born Yee Fung Cheung), arrived in California during the Gold Rush, and while practicing in Sacramento, he had his most famous patient, Jane Stanford, the wife of Gov. Leland Stanford.

FAMILY MAN. Herbert and Inez Yee have been married for 66 years. The couple is shown prior to their marriage in this photograph, which was taken in about 1944. / Photo courtesy, Herbert Yee

FAMILY MAN. Herbert and Inez Yee have been married for 66 years. The couple is shown prior to their marriage in this photograph, which was taken in about 1944. / Photo courtesy, Herbert Yee

Herbert explained the story behind his grandfather’s work with Jane Stanford.

“As the story goes – you’re talking legend, because this was so long ago – in about 1862, (Jane Stanford) was suffering from sort of like pneumonia and the American doctor said that he could no longer do any more and that was it,” Herbert said. “The Chinese chef said, ‘Well, since you finally gave up, why don’t you try our Chinese doctor?’ So, the governor said, ‘Well, go and fetch him.’ So, (the chef) got on the horse and buggy, went down to Chinatown and they located him playing mah-jongg or gambling something at Wah Hing grocery store. So, (Dr. Wah Hing) told his helper – a young man – to go fetch a certain item of medicine and they brewed it and then brought it to the governor’s mansion. (The doctor) then gave the brew to Mrs. Stanford and told the staff that in one hour, if her fever breaks and she can breathe, then she would be fine. Interestingly, this story was related to me back in 1950 by an old man who was 100 years old. He said, ‘You know, you’re great-grandpa saved the governor’s wife.’ So, the legend has been traveling all of these years.”

Today, Herbert resides in South Land Park with his wife, Inez, whom he married in 1945. The couple has four sons, four daughters-in-law, nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

California State Fair: It’s time to eat ‘fair-style’ once again

The waiting is finally over. The always anticipated California State Fair opens today, July 14, and with it comes its usual traditions, which of course include “fair food.”

Unique fried foods like the ones advertised on this sign at a past California State Fair are among the annual event’s most popular edible items. / Valley Community Newspapers photo, Lance Armstrong

Unique fried foods like the ones advertised on this sign at a past California State Fair are among the annual event’s most popular edible items. / Valley Community Newspapers photo, Lance Armstrong

This is the time that guests of the event put aside their general eating habits and partake in a wide variety of edible assortments ranging from longtime favorites such as corn dogs and cotton candy to just about any fried food imaginable.

Although many reports have been made regarding the fair’s food offerings, less emphasis is generally placed on the food vendors themselves.

And these vendors undoubtedly have many unique details to tell about themselves and their histories in business.

Despite their busy schedules as they prepared for this year’s fair, several vendors dedicated time to share information about themselves, the fair and their food offerings.

Milo Franks’ corn dog stands

One such individual was corn dog vendor Milo Franks, who volunteered the obvious observation that he has a surname that is quite fitting for a man in his line of business.

Franks, 61, who lives in Pilot Hill, near Auburn, said that he has seen the concessions at Cal Expo grow tremendously in his four decades of selling corn dogs at the State Fair.

“I’ve been working at the State Fair since the second year it was here (at Cal Expo) in the new facilities,” said Franks, who also sells pizzas with dough made on the fair’s premises. “I can remember there were stands here that were actually made out of those cargo vans that you can rent nowadays. And there were tents back then. Guys used to call them knock down joints. They were canvas (with 2-foot by 4-foot boards). Now it’s just nothing to have $2,000 or more invested in a stand.”

In an attempt to bring entertainment to the fair, Franks is working with his secretary, Georgeanne Clasen, to present the California State Fair’s first corn dog eating contest.

Milo Franks, who has been selling corn dogs at the State Fair for four decades, passes out a cash reward for a corn dog eating contest. The contest will make its California State Fair debut on July 21. / Photo courtesy, Georgeanne Clasen

Milo Franks, who has been selling corn dogs at the State Fair for four decades, passes out a cash reward for a corn dog eating contest. The contest will make its California State Fair debut on July 21. / Photo courtesy, Georgeanne Clasen

The qualifying round of the contest will be held on July 21 and 22 and the finals will be held on July 23.

The cost to enter the contest is $30 and the first place prize is $2,000, second prize is $500 and third is $300.

Although Franks, who enjoys racing hot rods at the Sacramento Raceway in his spare time, has spent two-thirds of his life as a corn dog salesman, he said that his initial plan was to be an industrial arts teacher, so he would not have to work during summers.

Franks said that ironically, he has not had a summer off in 42 years, but added if he ever retires, he will build a car and race in all of the National Hot Rod Association meets around the country.

Jungle George’s Exotic Meats and Bugs

Certainly, fair food offerings are much different today than when Franks began selling corn dogs at the fair.

A prime example of this fact is the Jungle George’s Exotic Meats and Bugs trailer, which is operated by Fremont, Calif. resident George Sandefur, a 38-year fair vendor, who began his career working in his native state of Indiana.

Sandefur said that he offers about 18 different, unusual meats such as alligator, python, raccoon and beaver meats and a full line of bugs from scorpions to crickets to maggots.

“We sell a lot of strange and unusual stuff,” Sandefur said. “Our new sandwich this year is our Maggot Melt, which is like a patty melt, but instead of a burger, it has maggots. We also have desserts, including deep fried butter and deep fried jelly beans.”

Offering unusual edibles was not always one of his trademarks, explained Sandefur.

“My trailer used to be a chicken trailer, but it just wasn’t doing what I wanted it to do,” recalled Sandefur, who has one child and five grandchildren. “So, last year, the California State Fair called and asked me to do something strange. I said, ‘How strange?’ They said, ‘Oh, maybe some strange meat or alligator or something like that.’”

Sandefur, who enjoys boating, swimming and flying standard, single engine airplanes during his spare time, said that by the following April, he introduced alligator meat, Rocky Mountain oysters and other unusual offerings at the Maricopa County Fair in Phoenix and sold out his inventory in about an hour.

“I said, ‘Oh, well, maybe I’ve got something here,’” said Sandefur, whose personal favorite exotic menu items are his alligator and yak burgers. “We just kept adding (unusual food items) and finally at the State Fair, we had probably 14 or 15 different meats and we added bugs. I just keep going on and trying to see how strange and ‘wow’ I can get. I believe that patrons, especially the younger crowd, are looking for more than standard fair food these days. They want something you can’t go to a restaurant and get. They just want something ‘wow.’”

Tempura, Inc.

Tempura, Inc. owner Grace Wang has been working at fairs for more than 15 years, and has two trailers at this year’s State Fair.

Wang, who is assisted in the business by her husband Richard, who designed and built one of Tempura, Inc.’s trailers, said that she is very excited about introducing crepes to guests of the State Fair through her Grace’s Crepes trailer.

“They never had crepes at the State Fair before,” said Wang, a native of the northeast part of China. “The reason why we wanted to bring this new crepe trailer to the State Fair is because we wanted to bring healthy food to the fair. We want to do less fried stuff. Our crepes, we do everything from scratch and this is our own recipe. We have about 12 different kinds of crepes.”

Tempura, Inc.’s other trailer will feature the Fresh Mexican Grill with quesadillas, chicken and beef fajitas, enchiladas, burritos, a nine-item plate, called the “Super 9,” fresh tortillas and homemade salsa and guacamole.

Wang said that some of her passions in life are reading books, attending seminars and living in Carmichael.

Regarding Carmichael, she said, “It is a relatively old community, so it’s very quiet with a lot of trees, big yards and very nice neighborhoods. I really like it. My (two) kids play with the neighbor kids, and it’s very safe.”

California Ice Cream Co.

Relatively newcomers to the State Fair, but 20-year veterans of the fair circuit, Galt residents Philip and Crystal Miller are adding sweetness to this year’s fair through their California Ice Cream Co. offerings.

The business features different flavors of ice cream, banana splits, sundaes, a McDonald’s McFlurry-like ice cream cup and their new item, a bacon maple sundae.

Crystal said that eating the bacon maple sundae is like having “breakfast in a cup.”

As a helpful tip in finding her business trailer, Crystal noted that the trailer is purple and pink and is decorated with an image of a snowball-throwing polar bear, named Cal.

When they are not working at fairs, the Millers devote time to Galt High School. Crystal is the assistant director of the color guard and Richard is a volunteer visual arts coordinator.

Although Crystal hopes that many people take advantage of the many food offerings at this year’s State Fair, she stressed that she is desirous that people come to the fair, in general.

“I hope everyone comes out and enjoys the fair,” Crystal said. “I know times are tough, but there’s a lot to do, so it’s well worth the entrance ticket.”

Carmichael resident celebrates 100 years

Valentina Kern celebrated her 100th birthday surrounded by her family and friends in her home at Aegis of Carmichael.
Feeling 100 years young, Carmichael resident Valentina Kern celebrated her birthday at Aegis of Carmichael this month. A native of Siberia, she came to this country as a teenager in 1929 and feels lucky to have lived in the United States of America. / Photo courtesy

Feeling 100 years young, Carmichael resident Valentina Kern celebrated her birthday at Aegis of Carmichael this month. A native of Siberia, she came to this country as a teenager in 1929 and feels lucky to have lived in the United States of America. / Photo courtesy

She waltzed with her son-in law, Horace Wolf, as she was serenaded by Rick Bezemer on his accordion. In recognition of her birthday, she was presented with a large bouquet of red roses.

Kern was born in Siberia and attended school in Harbin, Manchuria, China. Her father was already living in the United States when she joined him in 1929 at the age of 19.

Upon her arrival in the States she took a job sewing in a factory. She met and married her husband of seventy years, Max Kern, in 1933. They lived in San Francisco and San Carlos before they moved to Sacramento in 1999. Max passed away in 2003. Together they had a daughter, Nina and two grandchildren, Michael and Catherine.

In her spare time Kern enjoys reading, both in Russian and English. She is also very knowledgeable in Russian History. When the weather is nice, she spends most of her time outside helping with the flower garden. She says she feels “so lucky to have lived in America.”

Progressive, Pioneer Congregational Church founded in 1849

It is quite fitting that directly south of Sutter’s Fort – the 19th century establishment that predates the founding of the city of Sacramento – sits a church that was established when the fort was only a decade old.
A Christmas service is held in the church’s 5,500-square-foot sanctuary in this c. 1950 photograph. / Photo courtesy of Pioneer Congregational Church

A Christmas service is held in the church’s 5,500-square-foot sanctuary in this c. 1950 photograph. / Photo courtesy of Pioneer Congregational Church

Presently located at 2700 L St., this church – the Pioneer Congregational Church – was organized on Sunday, Sept. 16, 1849 in a schoolhouse on the northwest corner of 3rd and I streets.

During this time, the church was known as the First Church of Christ and was led by its pastor, the Rev. Joseph Augustine Benton.

Benton, who served as the church’s pastor for all of its first 14 years, with the exception of an 18-month leave of absence, boarded the California-bound ship, Edward Everett, in Boston on Jan. 12, 1849.

Aboard the ship was a group of 150 men, of whom Benton was their chaplain.

After reaching Yerba Buena (present day San Francisco) seven months later, Benton spent only four days there before making his way to Sacramento.

Despite reaching Sacramento on July 14, 1849, Benton arrived sick and was unable to immediately preach.

Yale grad pastorAn early record of the church shows that Benton, who was a graduate of Yale College (present day Yale University) and the Yale seminary, preached in a grove near the southeast corner of 3rd and K streets on July 22, 1849.

Following this sermon, Benton spent about two weeks along the Mokelumne River and in his journal he noted the high costs of food in the area during these Gold Rush times. These prices included $5 for a loaf of bread and $1.50 for a pie.

About five weeks after returning from the Mokelumne River area, Benton served as chairman of the aforementioned Sept. 16, 1849 gathering that established the church to “embrace all Congregationalists and Presbyterians.” The policy of the church, however, was Congregational.

A report of the church’s early activities names 27 members of the church in 1849. The only female member of the church at this time and for its first two years was Mrs. James Alexander.

Two months after the church’s founding, a lot was purchased on 3rd Street, near M Street for the purpose of constructing a chapel.

The chapel was never built at this location, however, and the $1,500 invested in the property was exchanged for a 40-foot by 80-foot parcel on the west side of 6th Street, between I and J streets.

The Rev. Joseph Augustine Benton, shown in this historic drawing, served as the church’s first pastor from 1849 to 1863. / Image courtesy of Pioneer Congregational Church

The Rev. Joseph Augustine Benton, shown in this historic drawing, served as the church’s first pastor from 1849 to 1863. / Image courtesy of Pioneer Congregational Church

1850 misfortunes

A natural disaster occurred in Sacramento on Jan. 8, 1850, as floodwaters spread from the embarcadero to Sutter’s Fort. And as a result of the flood, religious services in the city were suspended for the following two months.

On April 7, 1850, a committee was formed to raise funds to have a church structure built on the 6th Street property.

After the frame of a building was purchased and arranged to be delivered to Sacramento for the future church, the main part of the frame was burned in a fire in San Francisco on May 3, 1850.

First cornerstone laid

The following month, a parsonage was constructed on the property and the cornerstone was placed for the new church on Sept. 4, 1850.

When completed, the Grecian-style church building measured 30 feet by 60 feet and included a tower and a gallery for the choir.

Ironically, the church’s Ladies Benevolent Society was established on July 13, 1853, which was exactly one year prior to one of the most tragic times in the church’s history.

1854 fire

The church, which had a bell added to its features and had been enlarged by 12 feet, was destroyed in the July 13, 1854 fire that began shortly after 1 p.m. at the back of B.C.

This flyer advertises for the Jan. 11, 1865 lecture by the church’s second pastor, the Rev. Isaac Edson Dwinell. The event raised funds for the purchase of the church’s organ, which was acquired during the following month. /Photo courtesy of Pioneer Congregational Church

This flyer advertises for the Jan. 11, 1865 lecture by the church’s second pastor, the Rev. Isaac Edson Dwinell. The event raised funds for the purchase of the church’s organ, which was acquired during the following month. /Photo courtesy of Pioneer Congregational Church

Newcomb’s furniture store at 77 K St., between 3rd and 4th streets. The fire continued to 7th and I streets, where it destroyed the county courthouse.

Only two weeks passed before efforts were made to build a new church building.

In the meantime, services were held at a pair of alternative sites, including at a theater building on 3rd Street, between I and J streets.

Second cornerstone laid

On property purchased by the church, almost directly across from the old church on the northeast side of the alley between I and J streets on 6th Street, the cornerstone for the new church building was laid on Sept. 21, 1854.

A dedication service, which included a sermon by Benton, was held on Dec. 31, 1854.

Presbyterian exodus

1950s members of the Pioneer Congregational Church’s all-female Tri-S Club, which was founded in 1932. (Left to right) Mary Stacy, Lois Sucher and Marjorie McKesson. / Photo courtesy of Pioneer Congregational Church

1950s members of the Pioneer Congregational Church’s all-female Tri-S Club, which was founded in 1932. (Left to right) Mary Stacy, Lois Sucher and Marjorie McKesson. / Photo courtesy of Pioneer Congregational Church

By early 1856, all but two Presbyterians left the church to assist in establishing the First Presbyterian Church in Sacramento.

A week following Benton’s 10th anniversary sermon on June 14, 1859, he took his aforementioned leave of absence, as he traveled around the world. This trip included time spent in China and the Holy Land.

After his return to Sacramento, Benton gave lectures about the Holy Land and other places he had visited.

The winter of 1861-62 brought a devastating flood to Sacramento and as a result of this flood, 14 inches of water sat on the church’s floor before it was raised.

On Feb. 22, 1863, Benton preached his farewell sermon, as many tears were shed.

Benton, who passed away on April 9, 1892, was buried in a cemetery at the corner of 13th and Clay streets in Oakland.

Second pastor

Succeeding Benton as pastor was the Rev. Isaac Edson Dwinell, who served in this position for 20 years.

 

About a year after Benton’s departure, a well documented drive was conducted to obtain an organ for the church, which was then often referred to as the Sixth Street Congregational Church. The church was officially incorporated as the First Congregational Church of Christ on June 20, 1899.

The organ drive resulted in a Boston-manufactured organ, which The Sacramento Union later called “the largest and finest instrument of the Pacific Coast outside of San Francisco,” being purchased and transported to the church from Massachusetts. The first concert using this organ was held on Feb. 23, 1865.

In 1905, the church building underwent an extensive interior renovation, which included the laying of new carpet, the placement of new stained glass windows and the remodeling and enlargement of the organ through funds provided by the heirs of Charles and Mary Crocker.

The renovated church was the site of local aid given to refugees of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, as cots were provided in the basement and food and clothing were distributed.

In June 1910, Cornelia E. Fratt donated the northeast corner of 15th and P streets to the church and discussions were held regarding the possibility of the construction of a new church building. The church, however, decided not to build a structure at this site.

In 1923, the church’s 6th Street property was sold for $35,000 and despite a movement by Mayor Albert Elkus to save the old church building, which had also served as the city’s only auditorium, the structure was eventually demolished.

Although the church purchased property at 29th and J streets, it was discovered that the site was too small for its planned church building.

As a result, property was acquired just west of the church’s then-temporary meeting site – the Tuesday Clubhouse at 2722 L St. – for the construction of the present church building.

Third cornerstone laid

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new church building were held on March 30, 1926 and the cornerstone was laid six days later.

Pastor Phil Konz has been serving as the church’s settle minister since last August. He will officially be installed as the church’s pastor on Feb. 27. / Valley Community Newspapers photo, Lance Armstrong

Pastor Phil Konz has been serving as the church’s settle minister since last August. He will officially be installed as the church’s pastor on Feb. 27. / Valley Community Newspapers photo, Lance Armstrong

The current church building, which was constructed by the McGillivray Construction Co., was dedicated on Nov. 21, 1926. It was also during this time that the church became known as the Pioneer Memorial Congregational Church.

Part of the historic Crocker organ was placed in the church structure and Mary E. Noyes donated the church’s large lantern lighting fixtures.

Centennial in 1949

In celebration of the church’s 100th anniversary, a “Centennial Week” was held from Sept. 11–18, 1949. The event concluded with a historical pageant on the Sutter’s Fort lawn, directly across from the church.

The church celebrated its 125 anniversary, beginning with the Wild West Picnic in Elk Grove Park in 1974.

A unique moment in the church’s history occurred during Queen Elizabeth’s 1983 tour of Sacramento.

During the queen’s visit to Sutter’s Fort, members viewed the event from the church, while the church’s bell announced and welcomed her arrival.

It was also during 1983 that the Rev. Lewis Knight, who is best remembered for his ministry with Francis House and AIDS patients, was installed as minister.

In 1992, George Meir, who according to the church’s history is “charged with leading the congregation toward renewal and revitalization,” began his pastorate at the church, which developed its mission statement: “Spiritual Pioneers caring for God’s diverse community.”

Progressive church

The church’s settle minister since last August, Pastor Phil Konz, 60, recently described the church as “always being on the cutting edge.”

The Pioneer Congregational Church sanctuary is shown in this recent photograph. / Valley Community Newspapers photo, Lance Armstrong

The Pioneer Congregational Church sanctuary is shown in this recent photograph. / Valley Community Newspapers photo, Lance Armstrong

“As you come into the sanctuary, there’s beauty and serenity, but there’s also a sense of history and tradition, while at the same time, everything that we do from the preaching and the activities in the congregation and the community is progressive,” said Konz, whose official installation as the church’s pastor will occur on Feb. 27. “While churches were arguing in the 1960s about ordaining women, our forebearers were doing that in the 1850s. While integration was a big issue in the 1960s, our forebearers had already done that in the 1700s. Where ordaining gay clergy is a big issue today, we passed that barrier 30 years ago and we ordain gay clergy now. So, always being on the cutting edge has been part of this and having a traditional-looking sanctuary helps us to be rooted in the past, but it also frees us to go on and become pioneers in spiritual issues.”

In summarizing the church’s many changes, Konz, who was born in Nigeria and was the son of a Lutheran missionary, said, “We like to say our faith is 2,000 years old, but our thinking is not.”

Konz added that the church, which is a United Church of Christ denomination, “concentrates on unities and not divisions and the things that unite us as human beings.”

Today, the church, which has less than 100 members – a vast difference compared to the about 1,600 members that were on the church’s rolls during the 1950s and early 1960s – shares its building with the Spiritual Life Center, an independent interfaith church.

For additional information regarding this historic Sacramento church, visit www.pioneer.ucc.net.

lance@valcomnews.com

The current, gothic-style Pioneer Congregational Church building was constructed in 1926. / Valley Community Newspapers photo, Lance Armstrong

The current, gothic-style Pioneer Congregational Church building was constructed in 1926. / Valley Community Newspapers photo, Lance Armstrong

Local author to lecture on ‘Sacramento’s Chinatown’

 

September 2010 is bound to be a very busy month in the life of long-time Sacramento area resident Lawrence Tom as he begins an intensive local speaking schedule to promote his newly-published book, “Sacramento’s Chinatown.”

Local author Lawrence Tom will be lecturing at Sacramento branch libraries during the month of September. The topic will be “Sacramento’s Chinatown,” the history of the local Chinese community from the 19th century up to the present day. / Valley Community News photo by Art German

Local author Lawrence Tom will be lecturing at Sacramento branch libraries during the month of September. The topic will be “Sacramento’s Chinatown,” the history of the local Chinese community from the 19th century up to the present day. / Valley Community News photo by Art German

At least eight public library presentations are scheduled for him in September at branches throughout Sacramento County, including talks at the Belle Cooledge library in South Land Park (Sept. 18 at 3 p.m.), and the Robbie Waters branch in the Pocket area (Sept. 23 at 6:30 p.m.). Other dates include Sept. 8 at the McClatchy library in the Midtown area and Sept. 15 at the main library downtown.

The 73-year-old Lawrence Tom wrote the text and assembled the 200-plus photos in his book with his younger brother, Brian Tom, an Oakland-area resident who graduated from UC Berkeley and the UC Davis School of Law. The younger Tom practiced law for 25 years and served as an administrative law judge.

The book marked their second collaboration to compile the story of Chinese immigration to Northern California, which began with the Gold Rush in the mid-19th century. Their first book, “Marysville’s Chinatown,” was published in 2008.

The Tom brothers were born in Marysville, which in the early gold rush days was an important way-station for Chinese newcomers flocking to the gold fields.

Lawrence Tom moved to Sacramento in 1957, when he enrolled at Sacramento State and emerged with a degree in business administration. He then settled down in the capital, married and raised a family. He spent 40 years in state government, mostly as a career executive with CalTrans, and close to half a century with his family as a Greenhaven resident.

Tom said the early-day immigrants, most of whom came from southwestern China centering around Guangdong province and the Hong Kong area, were attracted by stories of gold discoveries, “and like most of those who emigrated to America, were seeking a better life for themselves.”

Among the early-day Chinese, Tom said, Sacramento was known as “Yee Fow,” which translates to “second city.” The “first city” was San Francisco, where the immigrants made their first landfall, he added.

The book also reviews the intensive discrimination that early-day Chinese immigrants encountered when they arrived here, including the enactment of laws in California that barred them having the same legal protections as other newcomers to the U.S. Tom said the anti-Chinese discrimination continued in one form or another until the mid-20th century.

Tom said a number of Chinese organizations are currently working together to establish a Sacramento Yee Fow center as an historical memorial for the days long gone by.

“We hope the book will generate a greater interest from the public in increasing awareness of the history of the Chinese pioneers in California and the Sacramento area,” he said.

Tom noted that the original Chinese community along I Street between 2nd and 6th streets was mostly torn down over the years and redeveloped, and that descendants of the original settlers now live throughout the community.

“This book is dedicated to the Chinese of Sacramento,” Tom said, “who for over 150 years have turned adversity into opportunities and in the process have succeeded in building better lives for their families and future generations.”

The book is profusely illustrated, with many scenes of life in Sacramento during the 19th century, followed by more recent photos depicting the role of Chinese-American soldiers and sailors during 20th and 21st century wars, plus the role of local community leaders in business and politics among descendants of the 19th century Chinese immigrants. Many of the book’s photos will be shown as slides during the library presentations.

“Sacramento’s Chinatown” was published by Arcadia Publishing, a South Carolina-based firm that specializes in books that expand readers’ knowledge of America’s people and their places in history.