Kam Wah Chung & Company, a general store that sold Chinese medicine, is a time capsule of late 1800’s Chinese medicines, culture and history. Originally a general store and community center that purveyed Chinese medicine was residence to Kam Wah Chung and his wife, the shop’s owners.
Gold rush activity in 1862 generated an influx of Chinese immigrants to the area of eastern Oregon. The Chinese population in the vacinity of John Day was about 2,000, making it the third largest enclave of Chinese in the United States, slightly smaller than those of Portland and San Francisco at that time.
Ing Hay and Lung On, husband and wife, purchased the building after migrating there themselves. Both operated Kam Wah Chung as merchants to the population with apothecary, doctor’s office and served as a community center. When Ing Hay fell ill in 1948, the business closed its doors after more than 50 years.
519 W. Main Street John Day, Oregon, 97845