by Emerald Staff
With Governor Inslee’s COVID-19 “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order in force, and many in the Beacon Hill neighborhood impacted by displacement, the Beacon Hill Council (BHC) is asking the question “How do we keep our community together during the time of COVID-19 and beyond?”
The neighborhood historically welcomed displaced people of color from racial red-lining, Chinese Americans from the Chinese Exclusion 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.
Bearing that history in mind, the BHC decided to find and preserve the diverse stories, welcoming ways and struggles of the neighborhood and its community members. 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 fourth 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 many people finding additional time on their hands, the task Force is hoping that Beacon Hill residents will enthusiastically participate in the 100 Stories Project. The survey is available online at www.beaconhillcouncilseattle.org.
For more information, contact Michelle Ishimitsu at SBH100stories@gmail.com
Featured image: Beacon Hill in 1955 (Seattle Municipal Archives)