Front section of the Friday, December 28, 1906 issue of The San Francisco Call (newspaper). With an article about the wedding of "Miss Bessie Caroline Ahtye and Chee Soo Lowe in the First Presbyterian Church, Oakland." The wedding took place on Thursday, December 27, 1906. This collection was given to the museum by their daughter. (Bessie Caroline Ahtye, born in LaPort, Plumas County in 1883, died in 1982. Chee Soo Lowe was born in San Francisco in 1882 and died in 1944; he was a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. He was a mining engineer and moved his family to China where he worked on an engineering project. Their first child was born in California, the younger three were born in Canton. Around 1923 the family returned to California and lived in Berkeley.) "Chinese Couple Wed 'Neath Bower of Carnations. Occidental magnificence marked the marriage of Miss Bessie Caroline Ahtye and Chee Soo Lowe in the First Presbyterian Church, Oakland, yesterday. All the rules laid down by society were observed and only invited guests were present. Orientals Follow the Decrees of Society. Oakland, Dec. 27.--The daughter of Chau Ahtye and the son of Sau Choy were wedded this afternoon, but no red and gold papers fluttered from the hack that bore them to the railway station. If Chinatown caught a glimpse of the vehicle carrying the departing couple it either shrugged its shoulders or dug its toes deeper into its sabots for fear its feet might stray into the frivolous paths of Occidental society. Chinatown did not understand, but it would have known no more if it had been among those present. No bold sweeps of a marking brush marred the marrage record. In dainty English the names were written down as Bessie Caroline Ahtye and Chee Soo Lowe, and the ceremony was carried out in the manner approved by the Ladies' Home Journal. Maid of honor, bridesmaids, best man, flower girl and ringbearer, all were there. The groom wore the conventional black of the up-to-date wedding; the bride 'looked sweet in a gown of white silk' and a 'beautiful bridal veil'; the couple marched along a flower-strewn path, keeping time to the customary strains; a big brother gave away the bride, and the pair stood beneath a bower of carnations while a white clergyman tied the knot at a white man's altar. Despite what Chinatown thinks, it was a pretty romance. Bessie Ahtye and Chee Soo Lowe are Christian Chinese, one the daughter of a Placer County pioneer and the other the son of a rich importer. They were born in California, and since childhood have known only the customs and speech of the country of their birth. Romance Blossoms On Campus. The bride's father was a wealthy merchant of San Francisco, but when he died fate sent her to Berkeley, where she met Chee Soo, then a student in the University of California. Soon love lightened Chee Soo's studies. Days flew by, carrying years in their train. Chee Soo wooed and studied. Bessie graduated from a young ladies' finishing school, turned to music, and as a pupil of Professor Fleishman of San Francisco became a talented musician......" The long article goes on to discuss the groom's degree and plans to work in China (c.1908), assisting the Chinese government in the development of mines, and is illustrated with a large portrait of Bessie Caroline Ahtye and a smaller portrait of Chee Soo Lowe.

Used: wedding | Chinese American | Oakland | Bessie Caroline Ahtye | Chee Soo Lowe

Bookmark and Share