Twenty-five people crowded into the small upstairs office of the Ashcroft Museum on Aug. 28 for a presentation on Ashcroft’s early Chinese population.
Ashcroft had a Chinese population of over 700, many of them former CPR workers who came north in the late 1800s after working on the Trans Continental in the U.S.
Fifteen thousand Chinese worked on the CPR for $6 per month. Approximately four Chinese died for every one mile of track laid.
Ashcroft had one of the largest Chinatowns in the west. Resident Loyd Wongs recalled the strings of fireworks that used be be hung from the Nabob building to Campbell’s Ice Cream Parlour for Chinese New Year.
In 1925 the cannery opened and many Chinese farmers focussed on growing tomatoes. The cannery held 30,000 cans of tomatoes to be shipped out.
The Wing Chong Tai Co. had large market gardens behind their store and delivered fresh vegetables to their customers. The Wing Wo Lung Co. operated a large orchard and sold fresh fruit.