National Register of Historic Places in San Joaquin County

National Register #78000761: Wong Gew Mansion in Stockton 3 December 2012
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National Register #78000761
Wong Gew Mansion
345 West Clay Street
Built 1921

The architectural style of the Wong Gew Mansion is predominantly federal revival, a popular style for large houses built in the 1920s. It is one of the best examples of period architecture in the Stockton area and is significant for its craftsmanship and detailing.

Wong Gew came to California from China in the 1880s, settling first in San Francisco and then moving to the San Joaquin Valley. In Stockton, Wong Gew became a prominent gambler and established several large gaming houses, including the Tong King Company in the Roosevelt Hotel.

Wong Gew's financial success is particularly striking because of the intense anti-Asian feeling in California at the time. Gambling was one of the few avenues to economic advancement open to Chinese people during the early 20th century.

Wong Gew was required to build his new home south of Main Street because Chinese were not permitted to live north of that line. Wong Gew made the best of this legal stricture and built a private school for teaching Chinese religion and culture that still stands.

Source: Adapted from the NRHP nomination submitted in 1978.

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