Tung, Eells to be portrayed at museum

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A Living History performance that presents the region's Chinese heritage will be 2 p.m. Saturday at Fort Walla Walla Museum, 755 Myra Road.

Immigrant Charles Tung's is a story of rising above prejudice to become a community leader. Tung, a leader of the local Chinese community, was born in San Francisco and moved to Walla Walla in 1880. Fluent in both English and Chinese, he often acted as a translator for many local Chinese people.

Tung owned the Kwong Chung Sing Company, importing Chinese silk, porcelain and tea to Walla Walla. He acted as secretary-treasurer of the Chinese-operated Pacific Enterprise Corporation that built a two-story structure at Fifth and Rose Streets in 1911.

At 2 p.m. Sunday, the Rev. Cushing Eells will be portrayed. Ells and wife Myra arrived in the Walla Walla region in 1838. Shortly after the November 1847 massacre at the Whitmans' mission, the Eells relocated to the Hudson's Bay Company Colville post.

Following the 1862 Indian Wars, they returned to the Walla Walla Valley. It was his intention to reclaim the mission grounds at Waiilatpu where the Whitmans were among 13 slain at the site. There he founded an educational institution, Whitman Seminary, to honor Marcus Whitman.

Eells received a charter from the territorial legislature for that purpose the same year and the first building was completed in 1866. In 1883, what was Whitman Seminary became Whitman College.

Museum hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Admission is free to members and children under 6, $3 for children ages 6-12, $6 for seniors 62 and older and students, and $7 general admission. For more information, call 509-525-7703 or e-mail info@fortwallawallamuseum.org.

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