Ah King and the Chinese Village

The Chinese Village was developed and managed by Ah King. The Chinese government did not officially participate in the planning or sponsor the exhibits at the fair. Ah King brought concession workers, actor and acrobats over from China. He paid their passage, put up the money guarantees, obtained the necessary bonds and paid each of the workers a monthly salary. They earned about $50 a month in Chinese currency. There were no written contracts; only oral agreements. The workers were required to return to China within thirty days after the close of the Fair.

While Ah King was in China his assistant, Chin How, handled the construction preparations for the Village. Ah King also negotiated an agreement with exposition officials to pay a flat rate plus a percentage of receipts from the main gate to enter the Chinese village. The exposition furnished a ticket-taker to collect the admission to enter the Village. The admission fee to enter the village is not known but it is said to have cost 10 cents to enter the Chinese Temple and Theatre.

Sources: NARA RG85 Case RS2164; HistoryLink Essay 8964.

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