The Lee's Association Lion Dance Team will perform at the Grand Opening of the restored Kam Wah Chung & Co. Museum in John Day, Oregon on Saturday, May 3, 2008. The performances will be at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. Oregon First Lady Mary Oberst will assist in the Ts'ai Ch'ing or "getting the greens" by holding a pole with a head of lettuce hanging from it to "feed" the Lions. The greens represent good luck and great fortune and the Ts'ai Ch'ing is the most important aspect of the Lion Dance.
The Kam Wah Chung & Co. Museum preserves early Chinese culture in Oregon. The building was originally built as a trading post in 1876. In 1888, the lease was bought by two Chinese immigrants from Kwangtung Province. Their names were Ing Hay, an herbalist, and Lung On, a businessman. They served the thousands of Chinese who had come to Eastern Oregon to mine for gold. They sold mining equipment and foodstuffs. "Doc" Hay practiced herbal medicine and served the Chinese and the white community until 1948. The building also served as a temple or "joss house" and housed several altars. The museum holds thousands of relics and artifacts, including mining tools, carpenter tools, logging tools, Chinese teas, foodstuffs, over 500 herbs and Chinese medicines, business and financial records, letters and correspondence, and antique furnishings.
The Kam Wah Chung & Co. Museum was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2005.The museum is a State Heritage Site and Park and is operated by the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department, the Friends of Kam Wah Chung & Co. Museum, and the City of John Day.
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