inside of the Wah Chong Tai Co. in 1905
2,500 objects returning to Mai Wah The loan arrangement with the Montana Heritage Commission, to return a huge collection of cases and artifacts originally in the Wah Chong Tai Mercantile, has been finalized. Read the press release here. Dec. 2010.
- Once a
busy mercantile, the Wah Chong Tai Company is now quiet. The
business has been closed and the shelves have been cleared for
Now, the Mai Wah has begun a project to restock the shelves of
the Wah Chong Tai Mercantile.
Efforts are being made to identify artifacts that have been scattered
throughout the state and region and to try to bring them home
for display in the Mai Wah Museum to exhibit them in the context
of a museum that is being developed solely to interpret the influence
of Asian immigration to Montana and the Rocky Mountain West.
The Bovey family traveled far and wide to gather buildings and
artifacts to recreate Nevada City near Virginia City. One of
the places they went to find artifacts to recreate a Chinatown
was Butte. When the state of Montana purchased Virginia City
and Nevada City from the Boveys a few years ago, they found themselves
with more than 100,000 artifacts in the many buildings. In the
Chinatown cabins of Nevada City remain many artifacts that were
moved there from Butte buildings, including the Wah Chong Tai.
of a cabin in Nevada City. Compare the nameplate in the corner
to the one in the 1905 photo above. The nameplate is now on loan
to the Mai Wah Museum in its original
Wah Society board members traveled to the McFarland Curatorial
Center in Virginia City to discuss the possibility of returning
some of the many artifacts from Butte for display in the Mai
The Mai Wah Society
plans to photograph and describe some of these artifacts and
then post these on this site to show some examples from the collection
of Asian artifacts at Nevada City.
Eventually, we would like to borrow several artifacts originally
from Butte from here and elsewhere for a future display in the
Mai Wah Museum.