Seattle Chinatown History

Chinatown History

Chinese immigrants began to arrive in the Pacific Northwest in the 1850s; by the 1860s some had settled in Seattle.

In 1886, whites drove out the Chinese settlers. Eventually, the Chinese established a new community, which was supplemented by newly-arrived Japanese settlers. By the early 1900s, the area around King Street had become an Asian community.

In the 1940s, Japanese residents were interned during WW II, and African Americans, who came to Seattle to work in the war industry, took their place.

Later, in the 1970s, new immigrants from southeast Asia established communities in what is now Little Saigon.

In 1986, the Chinatown International District was granted federal status as the “Seattle Chinatown Historic District.”