Hop Wing Lee Laundry
Knotts Berry Farm
Trying to Photograph everything there

Hop Wing Lee Laundry

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Posted Saturday March 5th 2022

Knott's Berry Farm Hop Wing Lee
Hop Wing Lee Laundry

Ghost Town Hop Wing Lee
Hop Wing Lee

Ghost Town Hop Wing Lee

Ghost Town Hop Wing Lee Laundry
Laundry

Ghost Town Hop Wing Lee Laundry

Wing Lee Laundry
Wing Lee Laundry

Walter Knott, Paul Swartz, Wing Lee, Andy Anderson
1941: Walter Knott, Paul Swartz, Wing Lee, Andy Anderson
The building and its interior diorama were completed in 1941. Like most of the wooden figures along Main Street, Wing Lee was carved by folk artist H. S. "Andy" Anderson. The photo shows (left to right) Walter Knott, early Knott's artist Paul Swartz, Wing Lee and Andy Anderson.

The “Ghost Town History & Reference,” a circa 1960s guide for employees, (nominally written by Walter Knott,) says the following about the Chinese Laundry:

Ghost Town History:In the early days of California mining, thousands of Chinese came to California seeking gold just as people came from all other countries. However, the Chinese were industrious and willing to work the old placer workings over after the whites had gone through them first. Then the Mexicans gleaned out some more, and then the Chinese really gave them a going-over.

As the gold mining played out, these Chinese settled in all of our California towns and ran restaurants, laundries, and started vegetable gardens. Even when I was a boy down on the other side of the tracks, in every Western town there was a row of Chinese shacks very much like our Chinese laundry. I have often watched Chinamen ironing shirts and fine clothes take a drink with a bucket and dipper close by, fill his mouth with water, and spurt it on the clothes to sprinkle them. This may seem highly unsanitary today, but 50 or 60 years ago it was common practice...

https://ochistorical.blogspot.com/2008/08/wing-lee-ghost-town-knotts-berry-farm.html

Wing Lee Laundry in 1556
1956
This vintage image from April 30, 1956 shows Hop Wing Lee's Chinese Laundry. Located in Knott's Berry Farm's Ghost Town, it is one of the peek-in shops located on Main Street. Chinese laundries were an important niche industry for Chinese immigrant families who came to the U.S. after the California gold rush in 1849:

Chinese laundries:Chinese laundries developed as a major occupation for the first wave of Chinese immigrants who came to the United States during the mid-nineteenth century. Laundries opened throughout the country and became uniquely identified with this ethnic group. The Chinese launderer stereotype appeared in popular culture and media.

https://davelandblog.blogspot.com/2014/11/ghost-town-chinese-laundry.html