This documentary by architect Glenn Lym tells the story of his Chinese great grandfather Lim Lip Hong and his great grandmother Chan Shee and the family they raised in the late 1800’s on a ranch in Dogpatch in the Potrero District of San Francisco on the then Bay shoreline. Lim Lip Hong had returned to San Francisco after working more than a decade in the Sierra's and beyond, helping build railroads that crisscrossed the American West.
Why did they raise their family on a ranch in rural, outlying San Francisco instead of in protected Chinatown? And how could they do this during a period of intense anti-Chinese discrimination in San Francisco and throughout the West? The ranch was half a acre large and located at the front gate of the biggest Potrero factory at the time - Tubbs Cordage. The ranch was intact for over 4 decades, yet the family was never run off the property.
Seven children and several grandchildren total were born at the ranch. This six decade tale leads to interesting suggestions about the identity of great grandfather Lim Lip Hong. Life at the ranch provided Glenn Lym a profound understanding of his own grandfather, Lim Lip Hong's second son.