Jim Lee Laundry

The Jim Lee Laundry (at 117 Carter's Hill – when the laundry first opened, this section of Carter's Hill was called Murray Street) was one of the longest-operating laundries in the city. Opened sometime before 1908, it continued to serve customers until the 1960s. In 1922, this laundry was the site of a tragic event in the history of the city. A young man named Wo Fen Game, a former employee at this business, bought a gun and shot and killed three men who worked there, apparently over a dispute over wages and employment. Wo Fen Game tried to kill himself, but survived to stand trial for murder. He was tried, found guilty, and hanged. The photograph, showing three Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officers in the doorway, was taken shortly after the shootings. Although many questions remain about this sad event, and we will never fully know what motivated this young man to take these actions, it does reveal something about the difficult situation for Chinese immigrants. Far from home, often lacking in social supports, and indebted to others for the head tax, Chinese men faced a difficult existence.

Source: City of St. John's Archives

Jim Lee Laundry