Ming Quong Presbyterian Mission Home was founded in 1874 in San Francisco and was the first U.S. charity to admit Chinese children. In the early years, Ming Quong rescued Chinese girls from slavery and prostitution in the alleys of San Francisco. It later opened homes in Oakland and, in 1935, in the hills of Los Gatos for the younger girls.
Ming Quong translates as “radiant light.”
Mirroring the history of the child welfare system, the orphanage evolved to a residential treatment center in the 1950s. In 1953, Minq Quong enrolled boys and needy children of all races and became independent of the Presbyterian Church.
The agency merged with Eastfield Home of Benevolence in 1987 and later the combined agency was renamed EMQ Children & Family Services. The Los Gatos campus is still owned and used by EMQ FamiliesFirst. The former Oakland residence is now part of Mills College. The building was designed by renowned architect Julia Morgan in 1925 and includes Chinese motifs in an overall Mediterranean design.
From February through July 2012 the Los Gatos History Museum ran a special exhibit highlighting the history of Ming Quong and individual stories of the girls. Read more about the exhibit and opening event.