Lue Gim Gong's personal dictionary


Lue Gim Gong's personal dictionary


North Adams, workers, agriculture, and immigration


An employee at the North Adams public library presents the personal dictionary of Lue Gim Gong. Featuring hand written notations by the Chinese strike breaker turned wizard of citrus


Aaron Bieniek




North Adams Public Library








North Adams, MA Florida




North Adam's Public Library Employee


North Adam's Public Library


Lue Gim Gong Dictionary Interview with North Adams Public library

Employee: What I have here is the dictionary, that was used by Mr Lue Gim Gong who was [a] Chinese person who had come over to help break the Shoe strike at the Sampson shoe company. There was seventy-five people that came over, Mr. Gim Gong was one of them and he was befriended by a local woman named Fannie Burlingame. He became sort of a son figure or mentee to Ms. Burlingame, he did not speak English when he came over and was gifted this dictionary by a Mildred… I believe it says Fisk here. And he learned English, he became every good friend, moved out of the mill, lived with the Burlingame’s who happen to have a home down in Florida. So, when they went to Florida Lue Gong would go with them, he was before he came to America, he was in to Horticulture, Agriculture. And this here shows a picture (shows photo of Lue Gim Gong) of him in his older years. He went on to develop a hybrid type orange that could withstand the frost better, so they could expand how far out they could actually grow oranges. And it’s a stain they still use to this day. So, he in a sense, started that and got its roots in North Adams and went on to become…

Person: It’s fascinating!

Employee: So, in here in the dictionary on some of the pages are his hand notations of maybe trying to clarify better a word he didn’t understand, here’s one right here (points to note) Here’s some of his handwriting. And here’s another word that he found for reasons significant whether it was definition or pronunciation. (points to note) But this was his. It’s interesting[laughs] they’ve got the architecture, so he was probably trying to learn about the housing, and Burlingame house is exactly right across the street from us, so very close ties to the library. Alright just wanted to share this with you today and see it live on. Thank you very much

Original Format




Time Summary

0:05 - Begins
0:14 - Who is Lue Gim Gong
0:26 - Strike
0:34 - Burlingame friendship
1:05 - Lue to Florida
1:20 - Lue's oranges
1:48 - hand notations
2:30 - Burlingame house



Aaron Bieniek, “Lue Gim Gong's personal dictionary,” North Adams Archives, accessed April 22, 2024,

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