“Chinese Contributions to Mendocino: A Promise Kept” is the title of our next “Sunday Afternoon With . . . Lorraine Hee-Chorley” to be held at the Kelley House Museum on Sunday, June 26th at 4:00 p.m. As many locals know, Lorraine Hee-Chorley dedicated much of her time and talents to the preservation of her family’s roots, and those of other Chinese pioneers who settled here in the earliest years.
In 2009, Lorraine wrote the book Chinese in Mendocino, which was published as part of the “Images of America” series, made so familiar to browsers of bookstores through Arcadia Publishing. Ms. Hee-Chorley is a fourth generation descendant of one of Mendocino’s first Chinese settlers; and along with a other family members, has worked tirelessly for the continued preservation and recognition of the Temple of Kwan Tai. The Temple is a California Historic Landmark, and a “category 1 structure” within the Mendocino National Historic District. Mendocino’s Temple of Kwan Tai is one of seven historic temples in California.
The dedication of her book provides a clue as to the meaning of the title of Lorraine’s presentation, and reads as follows:
To the first Chinese settlers of Mendocino County and to my parents, George
and Martha Hee, who passed on the oral history of the Chinese in Mendocino
County to their family and for their strength and defiance of society’s rules. Dad,
with this book, your promise to your mother “to preserve our history” is still
Please plan to join us for the lesser known stories of the Chinese pioneers and the contributions they made to the establishment and growth of Mendocino and the coastal region. This program is offered in conjunction with our current exhibit “Mendocino’s Mirror: Reflections on Immigration,” and is the second related to this broad topic. Kelley House Museum members pay $5.00; non-members pay $7.00. For further information, please visit our website www.kelleyhousemuseum.org , or call 707-937-5791.