The China Trade at the Penobscot Marine Museum

The beautiful Penobscot Bay town of Searsport boasts many old homes dating from the great seafaring era. Here one can find the Penobscot Marine Museum. Its principal exhibits illuminate the industry of Penobscot Bay in the 19th century and illustrate life on one of the great square-rigged ships, and what it was like to visitContinue reading “The China Trade at the Penobscot Marine Museum”

The Empire Dine and Dance

By Craig Dietrich CAFAM members will recall that, among the materials collected by Gary Libby about Chinese in Maine, is the story of the Empire Dine and Dance restaurant on the corner of Congress and Forest. An effort has been underway to install markers on certain Portland buildings such as this one, to commemorate theseContinue reading “The Empire Dine and Dance”

A Chinese-American Tragedy (1979-91)

By Gary Libby from the May 2008 CAFAM Newsletter Portland area old timers will recall that, in 1979, a new kind of Chinese restaurant opened on Congress Street. It was called Hu Shang, and it offered a different menu from the familiar Cantonese-American fare, including Sichuan dishes that would set your mouth on fire. ItContinue reading “A Chinese-American Tragedy (1979-91)”

The Pekin Restaurant, Bangor, and Raymond Huang

By Gary Libby Wong Jack June opened the Pekin Restaurant in Bangor, Maine in the 1920s. He and his wife, Chin Ngan Kee, had one daughter and five sons. One of those sons, Raymond Li Min Huang, is the subject of this article. Raymond’s parents gave all of their children Chinese names. Their “American” namesContinue reading “The Pekin Restaurant, Bangor, and Raymond Huang”

Early Chinese Christians in Maine (1870-1918)

By Gary Libby from the March 2008 CAFAM Newsletter The earliest known reference to a Chinese person’s membership in a Maine church appeared in the Portland Press on December 26, 1870. It reported that Ar Tee Lam had joined the Congress Square Sunday School on Christmas Day and promised “to become a learner and goodContinue reading “Early Chinese Christians in Maine (1870-1918)”

Portland’s Chinese ‘Rocky’

By Gary Libby In the late 1940s one Harry Wong battled his way into the boxing scene in southern Maine. Known variously as “little Chinese wildman” and “Bongo Bongo,” Harry fought thirty-seven bouts in the Portland and Lewiston areas between 1946 and 1948. He won seventeen (eleven by knockout) and came away with six draws.Continue reading “Portland’s Chinese ‘Rocky’”

Illegal Immigration

By Gary Libby from the September 2007 CAFAM Newsletter The following comes from the Portland Eastern Argus of April 24, 1895, and demonstrates to what lengths human traffickers would go to circumvent anti-Chinese immigration laws. IN VENTILATED COFFINS The Latest Scheme for Smuggling Chinamen into this Country Montreal, Que., April 23 – A gang ofContinue reading “Illegal Immigration”

History of Portland’s Chinese Restaurants

By Gary Libby from the March 2006 CAFAM Newsletter Gary Libby has published an article “Historical Notes on Chinese Restaurants in Portland, Maine” in Chinese America (2006). This is from the journal of the Chinese Historical Society of America. Through meticulous research, Gary has recreated the story of these eating places starting with the first ChineseContinue reading “History of Portland’s Chinese Restaurants”

Early Chinese Students in Maine – Bowdoin College

By Gary Libby In a previous article, Gary Libby described the first Chinese students to appear in Maine colleges. Although the first one (Tsu Sheng Linn, 1909) ended up in the Thomaston prison, those who followed had rather better success. In this second part, we meet the first students at Bowdoin. The first Chinese studentContinue reading “Early Chinese Students in Maine – Bowdoin College”