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Mining the Motherlode

THE HONGS (Merchants of Wells)

Won Mon 'Bill' Hong was born on August 28,1901 in Stanley, B.C. He went to school in Barkerville and kept a variety of jobs around the Cariboo, in Prince George, Barkerville, Stanley, and Wells. Bill Hong was described as a man of boundless energy with a tremendous love for the Cariboo. Bill bought and renovated the DeLuxe Cafe in Wells in 1934. This was converted into a store by his three sons who later ran the business. He returned to China with his family in 1936, but came back to Vancouver in 1943, eventually coming full circle to the Cariboo in 1945. Mrs. Hong was the only Chinese woman in Barkerville between 1923-1950, except for Lee Chong's wife who arrived in the late 30s. Bill took the position of Fire Marshall in Barkerville. Here, he also operated the Lee Chong Store and Sang Dang Placer Mine. Later on, he kept a summer home in Wells. Bill Hong passed away in Quesnel on April 20, 1985.

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Last updated: June 8, 2000