As part of the commemoration of the 125th anniversary of Philadelphia's Chinatown in 1995, a plaque was affixed to the wall of the H.K. Golden Phoenix Restaurant at 913 Race Street, where the city's first Chinese laundry was established in 1870. It reads: "In commemoration of our forefathers, this plaque is dedicated to those who came to the gim san (gold mountain) to seek their fortunes."
While this plaque communicates the hopes of the early Chinese immigrants, it doesn't communicate how they came to Philadelphia and built a community through years of unremitting effort and struggles against discrimination.
The photographs and objects in this exhibition illustrate how these immigrants, under changing social and political conditions, tried to maintain their cultural identity while becoming a part of American society.