Detour! This is a rather long post but I hope you find it interesting!
It is not all art and design here at Woo Hoo Design Studios. Another passion of mine has little to do with art licensing, illustration or design. This passion is researching my family history and I’ve been at this for a long time. When I was a college art student, I found out that my great-great-grandfather came from China and settled in Seattle in 1860! His name was Chun Ching Hock (CCH) and he came to Seattle when the population was little more than 300 settlers and natives, wood shacks, mud flats and no roads. He was sixteen years old at that time and he worked menial jobs that gave him the ideas that he took to become a wealthy merchant and an important pioneer of the area despite the resistance to certain immigrants at that time.
So I was intrigued to find out that I was a 5th generation Chinese American though my grandfather was born in China and came to the US in the 1930’s. I found out that my great grandfather was an American Citizen because his mother was a Native American. So that made my grandfather a citizen and he was able to come to America to take care of the family businesses without much questioning from Immigration. My mother was born in Seattle and so was I. Five generations!
I have set up a Facebook page for CCH. Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/ChunChingHockAmericanPioneer
So to get back to the point of this blog, I spent a good part of last summer conducting more research on my great-great-grandfather. In June I traveled to Seattle to meet with Nina Hallett, the curator at the Kitsap County Museum in Bremerton, Washington, to view the exhibit they had on display about Asian American History in the area. Roger Woo, my brother, had also traveled from New York with meet Nina. We also visited various archives and took lots of photos. This was our 6th or 7th trip to visit archives and conduct interviews since 2008.
Later in the summer I discovered an article on the website HistoryLink.org about Chun Ching Hock and so I contacted them to compliment the article. They asked me to speak at their upcoming fundraising luncheon in September. Not being much of a public speaker, I was a bit concerned about representing my family in front of the history and community folks of Seattle, but it was an opportunity not to let pass. Several members of the CCH family chipped in to cover the expenses of traveling to Seattle to speak. The talk went well (I rehearsed it like 50 times) and HistoryLink.org told me they had a successful fundraising campaign, the best in years. I designed this flyer to pass out to attendees of the luncheon and my cousin Shirin Yim Bridges wrote the copy. So that was what I did last Summer!
Flyer for HistoryLink.org luncheon
Roger wrote on his website: CCH PROJECT “Chun Ching Hock settled in Seattle in 1860, just eight years after the city was founded. A few shacks, a lumber mill and a lot of mud made up the emerald city at the time and as a pioneer in a time when America resisted foreigners, Ching Hock built a global Empire and made a mark on the city that still stands today. The CCH Project is an on-going effort to document his experience and contributions and establish his place in American history where it belongs. On September 23, 2014, Teresa Woo introduced the project at the HistoryLink.org luncheon in Seattle. The audience made up of the Seattle historian and archivist community brought the project to a new level of achieving our goal of making CCH an intrinsic part of the city’s history”.