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Chung Mei Home


The Chung Mei Home was constructed just off Elm and Hill Streets in 1935 for homeless and orphaned Chinese-American boys. This home was built on property that once was the dairy of the Heidie family. Close by was the Canepa family nursery on Blake Street. They had a number of hothouses which have since been torn down and subdivided at what is now known as the Justice Tract.

The Chung Mei Home was first located in an old wooden building in Berkeley, but had to move into larger quarters. The boys in the home, with lots of hard work, were able to raise part of the money to build larger premises. With the help of fine citizens of the bay area, they were able to raise the remaining money to buy property and build this new home in El Cerrito.

Under the direction of Dr. Charles Shepherd, the Director and Supervisor of the home, all of the children turned out to be first class students, responsible and very nice children. The children, marching every school day from the home to the local schools, were very courteous and careful not to disturb any homeowner's property.

The citizens of El Cerrito were very proud of Dr. Shepherd and the work he had done taking these children under his wing.

In later years the Chung Mei Home had been turned over to the Western Baptist Bible Church.
Copyright Mervin Belfils, October 1975

Copyright El Cerrito Historical Society, June 2006