Program Two - Segment One: Ing 'Doc' Hay

Chinese men built the western half of the transcontinental railroad.  In spite of this contribution, these immigrants faced discrimination and violence throughout the frontier. In 1885, a mob of white coal miners killed 28 of their Chinese co-workers in Rock Springs, Wyoming and burned down 79 Chinese homes causing hundreds of Chinese residents to flee. In 1887, in the Snake River Massacre, 30 Chinese miners were murdered near the Oregon-Idaho border. Chinese immigrants were only welcome as long as their labor was needed. After the American Civil War, widespread economic depression forced many to the West to find work. Chinese workers were becoming more and more unwelcome. But in the dry sagebrush hills of Eastern Oregon, in the small town of John Day, a thriving Chinatown emerged.  Thanks in large part to a doctor named Ing Hay.  He was an herbalist and acupuncturist who became known as “Doc” Hay.   His medical practice was located in a general store named the Kam Wah Chung.


Professor Jeffrey Barlow, Professor Judy Yung, Caretaker Carolyn Micnheimer, Ed Wah, Thelma Kite. Actors Sam A Mowry, Chung So, Jim Chan.

Produced by Dmae Roberts


Ing 'Doc' Hay Slideshow - See historical photos of Doc Hay and Lung On, as well as current photos of John Day, Oregon (opens in new window)


The Story of Ing 'Doc' Hay as heard on 'Day to Day'

Listen to the excerpt that aired on NPR's "Day to Day" program on Tuesday, June 14th, 2005.

The Story of Ing "Doc" Hay Hour-Long Documentary

Purchase a copy of this program.

MediaRites Productions presents "The Story of Ing "Doc" Hay" by Dmae Roberts.  This one-hour documentary about the famed frontier herbalist of the Kam Wah Chung in John Day, Oregon previously aired on Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland on Sunday, May 22 and August 22, on Tuesday, May 31st on KBOO 90.7 FM, and on Sunday, June 12th on KLCC-FM in Eugene. 

Review of "The Story of Ing "Doc" Hay" - Reviewed by David Swatling from PRX.org:
A fascinating, meticulously researched and produced story about a little known chapter in American history. I thought I was fairly well informed about the 19th century post-Civil War period. But this program contained such a wealth of information I'd never heard or read before that I was a bit overwhelmed. For example, I don't remember ever learning about the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, or the 1888 Scott Act which so tightly restricted immigration that only 10 Chinese were allowed to enter the country one year. I never knew the derivation of the derogatory term "coolie." Or that at one time, the Chinese were the
largest ethnic group in Idaho and Oregon. But part of what makes this story so interesting is how eerily some of the information about the Immigration Department is so topical today - and not in a positive sense. Then there is the interesting tale of herbalist Doc Hay, his partner Lung On and their extremely successful medical practice. The use of music, readings from letters & newspapers, and even staged scenes add richness to the authoritative experts and the well written narration. But my favorite parts are those who actually met Doc Hay - because it makes one realize this history is more recent than we might like to believe. If your listeners have an ear for history, drama or just good storytelling, treat them to this very different take on the American frontier.

Further Internet Resources:


Barlow, Jeffrey and Christine Richardson. China Doctor of John Day. Portland, Oregon: Binford and Mort, 1979.

Takaki, Ronald. Strangers From a Different Shore. Boston: Back Bay Books, Little Brown Inc., 1989.

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