ABOUT THE TACOMA CHINESE RECONCILIATION PARK

Visit the Chinese Reconciliation Park
1741 N. Schuster Parkway
Tacoma, WA 98403

Contact Info:
Theresa Pan Hosley, President
Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation
P.O. Box 7024
Tacoma, WA 98406-0024
Tel: (253) 330-8828
Email: info@CRPFTacoma.org

Designed around the backdrop of a Chinese garden and intended as a place of healing and harmony, the park allows visitors to walk along the interpretive pathways through the sculptured landscape of a Chinese garden and to enjoy the natural beauty of Commencement Bay. The park provides an opportunity to reflect upon the past, ponder the present, dream of the future, and celebrate our cultural diversity and common humanity. The park serves as an inspiration for other communities and a model to those who work for reconciliation in all parts of the world.

Major Features around the Park:

      • Trails and Pathways
      • Stone Tableaux
      • Interpretive Signage
      • The Grotto of the Tides
      • Waterfront Improvements
      • The String of Pearls Bridge
      • Landscaping and Fencing
      • Fuzhou Ting (open pavilion)

Future improvements include additional pavilions, a reflecting pond, zigzag bridge, restrooms, garden wall, entry gate, and an enclosed multicultural pavilion.

THE TACOMA CHINESE EXPLUSION

On November 3, 1885, a large group of Tacoma men rounded up all the Chinese people still in the city (about 200 people, including both individuals and whole families) and marched them out of town. The next day some Tacomans ravaged Chinese businesses downtown and burned shops and lodgings that formed the Chinese settlement along the waterfront. This dramatic set of actions was the climax of growing anti-Chinese sentiment in the region and beyond in the 1880s, the era of the Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) to stop Chinese immigration into the United States. In the western part of the country, Tacoma was not the only venue of violence; but Tacoma’s use of orderly force to drive out of the city all Chinese who had not left earlier, when tensions were mounting, set an example that became known as “The Tacoma Method,” remembered for its seeming avoidance of physical harm to the Chinese.

Of Race and Reconciliation

1885 Chinese Expulsion: Places & People
A Digital Story Map

This tour takes you to some of the places and people involved with the 1885 expulsion of Chinese merchants, laborers and their families from the city of Tacoma. It broadly recounts the history of the expulsion and provides context to the places associated with activities leading up to these events.

Created by Jennifer Callaghan of the Tacoma Historical Society

PARK ORIGINS

“When Dr. and Mrs. David Murdoch moved to Tacoma in 1982, they sensed something was amiss. After learning about the Chinese expulsion, Dr. Murdoch said, “Then it clicked because…if a family member has been hurt, ostracized or embarrassed, that has an effect on the family for years.” Dr. Murdoch joined with City councilman Robert Evans, former State Representative Art Wang (D-Tacoma) and community activists in 1992 to initiate the reconciliation process. They formed a citizens committee which included Suzanne Barnett, Bob Evans, Lorraine Hildebrand, Yun-yi Ho, Theresa Pan Hosley, Bob Mack, Dr. David Murdoch, Dr. George Tanbara, Jim Tsang, Art Wang, Sulja Warnick and Lihuang Wung, assisted by the City’s Planning and Development Services Department staff Bart Alford and Martin Blackman and with support of Mayor Karen Vialle, entire council members and City Manager Ray Corpuz. They spent 14 months planning, making community contacts and creating a preliminary design about the historic event in a Park setting.

On November 30, 1993, the City Council unanimously approved Resolution No. 32415 to acknowledge that the 1885 expulsion was “a most reprehensible occurrence.” The City Council recognized the efforts of the citizens committee and endorsed the concept of building a Chinese Commemorative park and international pavilion at the former National Guard site on Commencement Bay. Appropriately, the property is near the site of the early Chinese Settlement called Little Canton.  The City Council authorized the expenditure of $25,000 for preliminary site plans, preliminary cost estimate, and project programming for the project.

The Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation was founded in Spring, 1994 to continue the reconciliation process.

Chinese Reconciliation Park