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Oakland in Alameda County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Oakland’s Chinatowns

Wa Sung Community Service Club

 
 
Oakland’s Chinatowns Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 27, 2014
1. Oakland’s Chinatowns Marker
Captions: (lower left) This montage is titled “Oakland, a California Wonder, 1907” and depicts exotic scenes in the city. At the top left is 8th and Webster, the center of Chinatown. The woman in the center is a Japanese geisha and the image at the top right is actually a Japanese Tea House in Piedmont.; (top right) Northeast corner of 7th and Broadway, early 1940s. At that time, Broadway was the western boundary of the 8th and Webster Chinatown.; (center right) Webster and Eight Streets, the heart of Chinatown’s business district in 1958.; (bottom right) This postcard shows a Chinatown commercial street in the late 1800s.; (bottom center) Chinatown depicted as a fishing village at the foot of Castro Street, 1870s. Another fishing camp was located nearby at 4th and Clay streets. At the time, these sites were by the water’s edge.

Inscription. This marker is made up of two markers and two plaques on the same monument.

One Community, Many Locations

Chinese first settled in Oakland in the 18502 during the California Gold Rush. Unlike San Francisco’s Chinatown, Oakland’s Chinese community remained relatively small in the 1800s. Faced with the same challenges and obstacles as other Chinese settlements of the time, the Chinese were constantly being relocated outside of desirable neighborhoods. In 1880, the site of today’s Chinatown, centered at 8th and Webster Streets, was established and has been here ever since. Today, Chinatown plays host to a vibrant community made up of people from many Asian countries.

From Baseball Beginnings

The Wa Sung Community Service Club got its start as an all-Chinese baseball team in the early 1920s. From a social club call the Chinese 9 emerged a semipro baseball team called the Wa Sung Athletic Club. The ball club was popular and competed with many teams in the area until it disbanded in 1938. During that time, they began sponsoring community and social events in Oakland, fostering the reuniting of the club in 1952 and the founding of the Wa Sung Service Club. Committed to supporting the community and especially youth, the club has grown to over 150 dedicated men and women from many
Detail from Oakland’s Chinatowns Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 27, 2014
2. Detail from Oakland’s Chinatowns Marker
Map Key
1. 14th & Washington, 1850s
2. 17th & Telegraph, burnt down 1867
3. 19th & San Pablo, 1867-1880s
4. 22nd & San Pablo, 1867-1880s
5. 1st & Castro, 1870s-1880s
6. 4th & Clay, shrimp camp
7. 8th & Webster, business center, 1880-present
8. 4th & Madison area, post 1906 earthquake refugee settlement
9. Post WW II settlement
professions and businesses. Today they are known as the Wa Sung Community Service Club.
 
Erected by Wa Sung Community Service Club.
 
Location. 37° 48.004′ N, 122° 16.105′ W. Marker is in Oakland, California, in Alameda County. Marker can be reached from 10th Street near Alice Street, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 250 10th Street, Oakland CA 94607, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Asian Resource Center (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Site of College of California (approx. ¼ mile away); Alameda County Courthouses (approx. ¼ mile away); Oakland War Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); 1946 General Strike (approx. 0.4 miles away); Latham Memorial Fountain Unveiled (approx. 0.4 miles away); Oakland City Hall (approx. 0.4 miles away); Oakland Rails (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Oakland.
 
More about this marker. This marker is in Lincoln Park near the 'Chinese Junk'.
 
Also see . . .  Oakland Chinatown. The Chinese in the Oakland area took on low paying jobs with high risks. They also built the Temescal Dam and Lake
Wa Sung Community Service Club Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 27, 2014
3. Wa Sung Community Service Club Marker
Captions: (bottom left) The 1931 Wa Sung Athletic Club baseball team. The year earlier, Coach Al Huie remarked the “We were one of the best semi-pro teams around Oakland – and the only Chinese team.”; (center) Cultural and recreational activities and programs, such as the Junk Boat Project, are supported.; (top right) The Club holds events that foster relations and understanding. Easter Pancake Breakfast, “A Chef’s Delight<” and numerous holiday programs have been traditional community activities. Scholarship programs, like Merit Award Scholarships, have aided Asian youth since 1958. Education grants have provided valuable supplemental materials and programs to neighborhood schools and non-profit organizations.; (bottom right) A bilingual Community Directory has been published for over 40 years. The Wa Sung Community Service Club assists those of Asian heritage in the Oakland-East Bay Area by providing community and educational services.
Chabot Dam. Not only did they work on the Dams but they also worked in cotton mills, explosive factories, and canneries. They became cooks, gardeners, houseboys, and laundrymen.
(Submitted on April 4, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
 
Categories. Asian AmericansCharity & Public WorkSports
 
Wa Sung Community Service Club, Junk Boat Project 2003 plaque image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 27, 2014
4. Wa Sung Community Service Club, Junk Boat Project 2003 plaque
Click on image to enlarge.
Wa Sung Community Service Club Play Area plaque image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 27, 2014
5. Wa Sung Community Service Club Play Area plaque
Click on image to enlarge.
Oakland’s Chinatowns Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 27, 2014
6. Oakland’s Chinatowns Marker
Junk Boat Project in the background.
Oakland’s Chinatowns Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 27, 2014
7. Oakland’s Chinatowns Marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 318 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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