Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Art Abe Interview
Narrator: Art Abe
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: January 24, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-aart-01-0003

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TI: And then tell me a little bit about the business. So this greenhouse business, where was this located?

AA: It was located on the Bothell Highway. They had a 5 acre piece right on, right on the highway, and they had a number of greenhouses, then they had a nursery business, selling shrubbery and all kinds of things like that.

TI: And were there very many other Japanese that lived out near the greenhouse?

AA: Well, yeah, there was, not in the immediate vicinity, but that Green Lake book shows all the Japanese that are living in the north end.

TI: So, as much as you can, tell me about the greenhouse business. I mean, was this a business that traditionally Japanese would do, and who would be the customers? Can you just kind of give me a picture of this business and how it operated?

AA: Yeah, they grew flowers. My uncle and grandfather grew chrysanthemums and bedding plants, Easter lilies. And it, springtime was an exceedingly busy time, 'cause they grew bedding plants, and Easter was a very crucial time, they had to get everything out, you know, within a week, and so it was quite a hectic time. I remember going out there helping after school and evenings and weekends.

TI: Was this like a retail business or more a wholesale business?

AA: Well, they were very fortunate and they had both. They were on the highway, so they had a fairly good retail business. Then the rest was the things they took, took down to the wholesale house.

TI: And where was the wholesale house? Where would they go for that?

AA: It was in downtown Seattle.

TI: Like the Pike Place Market, around there?

AA: No, it was... I forget what, where it was located, but it was, name of the wholesaler was Jones, I believe.

TI: And this was a place where all the flower growers...

AA: Flower growers dropped their flowers on consignment, and they and the wholesale house would in turn sell the products to all the florists in town.

TI: Okay.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2008 Densho. All Rights Reserved.