1925 Jefferson Park Ladies Improvement Club in front of their Clubhouse,
now known as Beacon Hill Garden House. Photo by Go Wan.

The following is a statement from the Beacon Hill Council (BHC):

With Governor Inslee’s COVID 19 “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order in force, and lots of people moving in or displaced out of Beacon Hill, the question is “How do we keep our community together during the time of COVID 19 and beyond?  

(Historically, Beacon Hill welcomed displaced people of color from racial red-lining, Chinese Americans from the Alien Land-Act, Japanese Americans from World War II internment, Southeast Asians – Cambodian, Laotian and Vietnamese from the Vietnam War, and Africans such as Eritrean and Somali refugees from local civil wars. This open arms practice resulted in Beacon Hill’s population close to 80% people of color, 44% immigrants and refugees with only 36% of them speaking English well, and one out of 5 low income according to the last Census count.) 

The Beacon Hill Council (BHC) decided to find and preserve the diverse stories, welcoming ways and struggles of Beacon Hill.  From now until the end of June, the BHC Cultural & Historic Preservation Task Force will gather 100 stories of significant/special people, places and events both past and present.

Michelle Ishimitsu, BHC Cultural & Historical Preservation Task Force Coordinator is a 4th generation Japanese American Beacon Hill resident. “This is about the soul of Beacon Hill. When Perry Ko’s South China restaurant was displaced in 2000, my heart broke. My family used to go there for family dinners, wedding receptions, funerals. Grandpa was good friends with Sid Ko, the owner. It was such an iconic gathering place for the neighborhood.”

With found time at home, the Task Force is hoping that Beacon Hill residents will participate enthusiastically in the 100 Stories Project. The survey is also available online at www.beaconhillcouncilseattle.org.

For more information, contact Michelle Ishimitsu at [email protected]

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