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Ketchikan in Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Alaska — Northwest (North America)
 

New York Hotel & Café

Circa 1924

— A family twice removed —

 
 
New York Hotel & Cafe Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, September 4, 2021
1. New York Hotel & Cafe Marker
Inscription.  Adventurous Japanese-Americans George and Yayoko Shimizu immigrated to Ketchikan in search of opportunity. Around 1903, they opened the New York Café on downtown Front Street.

Ketchikan was divided racially then. Whites lived north of Ketchikan Creek; Indians and growing numbers of Chinese, Japanese and other immigrants lived to the south, in “Indian Town.”

By the “Roaring 20s” downtown was being renovated and this meant street and building improvements … and also moving minorities out. The Shimizus were forced to move to Indian Town. They opened the New York Hotel & Café in 1925 with 18 tiny rooms and one shared bath.

During WW II, the Shimizu family was forced to leave again … this time to an internment camp. Neighbors looked after their business until the war ended and, when the family returned, gave them all profits. The Shimizus ran the New York until 1981 … a total of 56 years over 3 generations.

Captions (top to bottom)
• Storm tide and heavy rain, 1952.
• Alaska's oldest café was established by the Shimizu family in 1903.
• Yayoko Shimizu (second from right) with family
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and friends, late 1920s.
 
Erected by Ketchikan Historic Commission.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Asian AmericansIndustry & CommerceWar, World II. A significant historical year for this entry is 1903.
 
Location. 55° 20.462′ N, 131° 38.446′ W. Marker is in Ketchikan, Alaska, in Ketchikan Gateway Borough. Marker is on Stedman Street south of Creek Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 207 Stedman Street, Ketchikan AK 99901, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Lost Frontier (here, next to this marker); Stedman-Thomas Historic District (here, next to this marker); Ohashi's (a few steps from this marker); June's Café (within shouting distance of this marker); Creek Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Dolly's House (within shouting distance of this marker); 20 Creek Street (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Diaz Café (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ketchikan.
 
Also see . . .  Ketchikan's New York Hotel: Rich history in a small package (PDF). Retrospective of the Shimizu family's hotel and café business by June Allen in Stories in the News (an online news site), posted November 22, 2003.
New York Hotel & Cafe Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, September 4, 2021
2. New York Hotel & Cafe Marker
(Submitted on September 17, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.) 
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 17, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 17, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 304 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 17, 2021, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

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Apr. 18, 2024