Asian Settlement in Modesto

Chinese immigrants and their descendants have resided and conducted business in Modesto since the town’s early days.

Despite exclusionary ordinances, mob violence, prejudice and vandalism, Chinese residents and their businesses operated in and contributed to Modesto’s well-being. None of the buildings from Modesto’s original “Chinese Alley” survive. One building remains from the pre-WWII period and a few parcels in downtown Modesto are still occupied, though the buildings are probably not original.

  • A 1957 photo of Leong N. Mein’s Modesto Chinese Herbs Co. at 1602 H Street, Modesto.
    A 1957 photo of Leong N. Mein’s Modesto Chinese Herbs Co. at 1602 H Street, Modesto.

Sources

  1. Modesto Chinese Herb Co. from: Santos, Robert LeRoy. “Chinese in Stanislaus County (Part 1).” Stanislaus Stepping Stones 28, no. 3 (May-June 2004) page 1445.
  2. Chinese Laundryman: Maino, Jeannette. One Hundred Years… . Modesto, CA: Belt Printing and Lithograph Co., 1970. page 21
  3. Chinatown 1930 from: Modesto: Gauvreau, Robert. Modesto: Images of Yesterday Images of Today. Modesto, CA: McHenry Museum Society Press, 1984. page 200.
  4. Chinatown from: Maino, Jeannette. One Hundred Years… . Modesto, CA: Belt Printing and Lithograph Co., 1970. page 21
  5. NS Sue Office from: Sue, N. Sharron. “The Sue Family of Modesto: Two Generations of Healing.” Stanislaus Stepping Stones 28, no. 3 (May-June 2004) cover photo