The SOHS Library is OPEN to the public at 106 N. Central Avenue in Medford, with FREE access to the SOHS Archives, from 12:00 - 4:00 pm, Tuesday through Saturday. Appointments are not necessary. Please contact, or call 541-622-2025 ex 200 to ask questions or request research.


Antique Mah Jong Set

Hanley Family Artifact

Mah Jong is a well known Chinese tile game. There is debate about how long it has been

in existence and where it actually began but we know that it was being played in China in

the 1800s and was brought to the United States in the 1920s where it became extremely

popular. The game was banned in China in 1949 when the People’s Republic of China

outlawed it and other gambling activities that were viewed as a representation of capitalist


Mah Jong was brought back in China during the Cultural Revolution but without the

gambling element. It did not become legal to play the original version again until 1985.

Singer, Eddie Cantor, sang and recorded the song Since Ma is Playing Mah Jong during

the 1920s when the game became a popular pastime for women in the United States.