Beloit Public Library is hosting the launch of The Wongs of Beloit Wisconsin, a book written by Beloit College Professor Emeritus Beatrice McKenzie about the Wong Family.

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The event will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 23 and feature a presentation by the author and a panel discussion with family members Mary Wong Palmer, Fung Scholz, and Harry W


Through family interviews, original photographs, and national records, McKenzie traces the many lives of a resilient multigenerational family whose exper

iences parallel the complicated relationship between America and China in the twentieth century. In the early 1900s, Charles Wong moved from Guangdong Province to the United States and opened the Nan King Lo Restaurant in Beloit, Wisconsin. Soon after, his wife Yee Shee joined him to build the “Chop House” into a local institution and start a family.

When the Great Depression hit, the Wongs shared what they had with their neighbors. In 1938, Charles’s tragic murder left Yee Shee to raise their seven children—ages one through fourteen—on her own. Rather than return to family property in Hong Kong, she and her children stayed in Beloit, buoyed by the friendships they had forged during the worst parts of the 1930s.

This program is free and open to the public and will include free refreshments. Copies of the book will be available for purchase for $23 each, and the author will be available for signing.

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