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Site of the Lakeview Railway Station


At least 200 Chinese were forced to march about eight miles in a cold rain to the Lake View Railway Station, where they were held overnight with almost no provisions or shelter.


In the morning those who could afford to buy tickets on the train to Portland, Oregon, did so. Around 3 a.m. the following morning a freight train stopped at the station, and many of the remaining people who could not afford tickets left in boxcars. Dozens who could not get on a train were seen walking along the rail line to Portland for days afterward.


There are no official records of any deaths or serious injuries during the expulsion, although Chinese accounts say two people died from exposure while being held at the train station.


The mayor and other leaders of the expulsion were indicted for conspiring to deny the Chinese of their civil rights, but all of the charges were later dropped.


In 1994 Tacoma's civic leaders founded the Chinese Reconciliation Project in order to acknowledge the events that happened there. Their continuing efforts have led to the creation of the Chinese Reconciliation Park along the city's waterfront, the most significant recognition of past Chinese expulsion events by any city in the U.S.

Sources: Chin, Hildebrand, Kinnear, Pfaelzer, Hunt, Karlin, Morgan, Wilcox, local newspapers



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About this site: Although it was eight miles outside of the city, the Lake View Railway Station was the nearest terminal for trains going south to Portland. The station remained an important transportation link for Tacoma until the mid-1930's. It was razed sometime before 1940. The location of station was found on a 1912 Sanborn Fire Insurance map in the archives of the Tacoma Public Library.

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