Chinese Descendants Honor Pioneer Ancestors

Chinese settlers burned incense and placed votive offerings of food, wine, whiskey and tea to honor their ancestors, who were burned out of their seaside village homes 100 years ago Tuesday.

Sisters Marjorie Walsh of Salinas and Geraldine Low-Sabado of Fremont organized a family reunion in Monterey to visit ancestral graves and reflect on the ordeals their pioneer ancestors faced in an often hostile 19th century California.

The picture-postcard view from Hopkins’ backyard was once a picturesque jumble of wooden shacks on stilts that enthralled landscape painters and offended the white residents of Monterey and Pacific Grove.

The fire that destroyed the village ended a long-standing campaign by the Pacific Improvement Co. to get the Chinese to move elsewhere. Histories of the village indicate that it had burned twice in its 50-year existence before the 1906 fire finished it off.

Chinese Descendants Honor Pioneer Ancestors