Wakaichi "Buck" Ohashi Family Collection is a photo album of the Ohashi family. The album primarily contains photographs of the Ohashi family and the Japanese American community in Ketchikan, Alaska prior to WWII. Jasomatsu "George" Ohashi (1872-1934) immigrated to Ketchikan, Alaska around 1900 with his wife Shika, leaving his young son Wakaichi “Buck” in Japan. He came to Alaska following the Yukon Gold Rush, however, he opened a restaurant on Front Street in Ketchikan called "New York Cafe." In 1907 George built a storefront and boarding house on Stedman Street that housed his businesses as well as his growing family. In the storefront he opened and ran Ohashi's Grocery. In the following years he and Shika had two daughters, Mary Haruko (1909) and Ruth Tomo (1917). Around 1911, George sent for his son, Wakaichi “Buck” Ohashi to join him in Alaska. During Prohibition, George put a pool house and bar in the back of the grocery store. Around 1924, Buck returned to Japan to marry Komatsu Saito, and in 1924 they returned to Ketchikan. Together Komatsu and Buck had 5 children, Robert Teruo (1926), Hope Nobuko (1927), Neil Jiro (1930), Edward Saburo (1931) and Paul Masuo (1934). Upon George’s death in 1934 Buck took over the family business, and in 1936 he closed the grocery and opened "Welexum Bar" in the space. After a few years the bar was closed and the store front divided into two spaces, a liquor store and a confectionary/ice cream shop. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941 Buck along with all the Issei men in Ketchikan, was arrested and detained on Annette Island. Eventually transferred to Lordsburg or Santa Fe in the following months. In 1942, the rest of the Ohashi family was removed and detained, initially at Camp Harmony in Puyallup, Washington, then at Minidoka in Idaho. Upon the family’s return to Ketchikan in 1945, they reopened the liquor store and confectionary and ran the business until the mid-1990s.
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1 photo album with 312 photographs
Courtesy of the Wakaichi "Buck" Ohashi Family Collection, Densho
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