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Deadwood Dedicates Altar to Honor Chinese

FILE: Deadwood, Chinese Altar
Robyn Wright/KSOO-AM

DEADWOOD, S.D. (AP) — A ceremonial altar has been dedicated in Deadwood to honor Chinese immigrants who lived in the city when it was a frontier town.

City leaders, history buffs and the descendants of Fee Lee Wong, one of Deadwood’s most successful Chinese pioneer merchants, gathered Tuesday to dedicate a restored Chinese burner used in the worship of ancestors and in paying homage to the dead.

About 400 Chinese immigrants once lived in Deadwood’s Chinatown, maintaining their own police and fire departments, courts and religious buildings. But by the 1930s most had left the Black Hills.

The original Chinese burner built in 1908 had deteriorated until all that remained was its foundation.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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