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Los Angeles

Approximate Site of John Groller's Wagon Shop


When the wagon shop at Tomlinson's Corral could not hold any more lynch ropes, the crowd move down the street to John Groller's wagon shop at the intersection of Los Angeles and Commercial Streets. Tall prairie wagons from there were moved into the streets, and at least another dozen Chinese were hanged from the sides of the wagons or otherwise murdered there.


The official coroner's report listed 19 dead. The brutality of the crowd may be seen in the description of some of the dead: Wa Sin Qaui was shot eight times in the abdomen and legs; Tong Wan was stabbed, shot and hanged; Ah Cut was shot in the extremities and hanged; Joung Burrow was shot in the head and hanged. An unnamed man was hanged and his finger was cut off, probably to removed a ring.


The next day the Los Angeles Star newspaper described the Chinese victims as "uncivilized barbarians" who "valued life so lightly". The massacre was described as a "glorious victory" for "the virtuous people of Los Angeles.


An immediate attempt was made portray those who participated in the riot as lowlife scum, but later investigations revealed that several prominent citizens, including City Councilman Fall, helped lead the assault.

Sources: DeFalla, Dorland, Mullen, Zesch




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About this site: The location of the intersection was determined by overlaying an 1880 Sanborn Fire Map of the area with the current street grid. When the Hollywood Freeway built in the 1950's, several of the streets in the area were rerouted or interrupted. Commercial Street no longer exists in this area, but the approximate cross street is now marked by a red pedestrian walkway.

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