Raymond’s Brain: My Baachan #39, Chatham 1945-47

A personal history by Raymond Nakamura

Not long after my Baachan and her family arrived in Chatham, the war in Europe ended and later that summer, so did the war with Japan. But they still weren’t allowed to return to BC and anyway, they had nothing to return to. Many had their properties sold off by the Custodian of Enemy Property, without their permission.

So they worked on this farm, which grew many things, such as tobacco as shown in this drawing (based on a 1947 black and white photo taken in Chatham NNM 2010.23.2.4.154), as well as sugar beets. It was hard work, but the farm supplied plenty of food.

Chatham had been a destination for the Underground Railroad and they had a significant population of people of African descent, though the restaurants remained segregated. Canadian baseball player Ferguson Jenkins was born here.

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Republished from Raymond’s Brain.

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