In July of 1872, the first train arrived in downtown Dallas on the Houston and Texas Central Railway. Around that same time, the first Chinese immigrants were recorded in Dallas City Directories, most of whom came to the area after completing their work on the railroad.
The Chinese Exclusion Act was approved on May 6, 1882, and became the first significant law restricting immigration into the U.S. Despite the exclusionary policies, a handful of Chinese people formed a community here in Dallas. News articles referred to the small population as “The Chinese Colony.” The residents were business proprietors, opening laundromats and later restaurants.
Inspired by the resilience and innovation of Dallas’ earliest Asian immigrants, the Dallas Asian American Historical Society is thrilled to be partnering with Preservation Dallas for our very first public exhibit highlighting the enduring legacy of Chinese restaurateurs in the city.
The exhibit will open on July 7th, 2023 in the historic Wilson House on Swiss Avenue and feature historical research, oral stories, and artifacts in visual displays designed by local Asian American artists.
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