Everyone knows about the old British Consulate 打狗英國領事館 and the British Consular Residence in Kaohsiung. But there are actually a few other things leftover from Kaohsiung’s Qing Era foreign area. Most amazingly parts of a cemetery 打狗洋人墓園.
After the signing of the Treaties of Tianjin in 1858 Kaohsiung was one of the 4 places in Taiwan that were opened for trading. Kaohsiung was really opened up to foreign trading a few years later in 1864. Many countries moved in to start trading, but it was really the British that did the most in Kaohsiung. After Japan took over Taiwan in 1895, it seems that there was little change. However, in 1911 the Japanese government closed the South Formosa Consulate and all foreigners were kicked out.
There wasn’t a big foreign population in Kaohsiung, but there are still some things left from their time here. (Anyway, that’s enough of just history, let’s get to some pictures too)
First up is the cemetery.
The cemetery was founded in 1871 and eventually 39 people were buried here (the last being in 1895) and amazingly three headstones have somehow survived.
I went looking for this area before and couldn’t actually find the headstones. Then one sunny afternoon I went again with a friend and we were determined to find them and we did! As you can see they are in a small alley, among small alleys, and a little hard to make out. The first two remaining graves are close together. (Google 打狗洋人墓園 if you want to find them)
This is the headstone of Conway Knox Fletcher. She was a British Imperial Chinese Maritime Service (ICMC) assistant who died on March 2nd, 1893 at the age of 24.
Mary Warren was the wife of the British Acting-Consul Pelham Warren and died in 1884.
The headstone of William Hopkins is in another small alley. I also couldn’t see it on a couple of trips there, but luckily my friend is a bit taller than I am and spied it.
Everyone’s death is sad and tragic of course, but William Hopkins’ was especially sad. He really just wanted a chance to see his brother again. Born in Ireland, he worked on a ship heading to Australia(where his brother was working) but unfortunately drowned in Kaohsiung Harbor. You can read about his story here. (Google 外國人墓碑 if you want to find his headstone.)
The Takao Club blog is an amazing blog and basically where I got a lot of the information for this post.
I went to the cemetery recently and there are a couple new things.
Someone put up a picture of Rev. Hugh Ritchie. He was a Presbyterian minister in Taiwan and unfortunately died in Tainan. He was buried in the Kaohsiung cemetery. So not sure if this is the place of his grave or just a picture for a memorial. Rev. Ritchie’s son is also buried in the cemetery.
Hugh Ritchie’s wife stayed in Taiwan and was instrumental in the founding of the Tainan Presbyterian Girls’ School in 1887. It has now changed to Chang Jung Girl’s High School.
Someone also put up a couple old pictures.
A little video.
So what happened to the cemetery. Basically, after the Japanese came they took pretty good care of it. However, when the Chinese came to Taiwan after losing the civil war land and housing were a big issue and the cemetery was prime land. So housing was eventually allowed to be built on it during the 1960s. You can read more about it here on the British Consulate in Takaow website.
This is an old (late 1800s) picture of the cemetery. The church is gone and the bottom third or two-thirds of that mountain is now covered in houses. And the water in front is a road. The area looks very different today.
The freshwater creek 打水灣水道古蹟 is still there though.
These are the two famous renovated buildings from the Qing Era foreign area in Kaohsiung. But there are a couple of things in that area leftover from that time too.
This is the gateway of what was the Julius Mannich & Co building. People may recognize that name from the more famous Mannich & Co building in Tainan’s Anping area.
This building was a warehouse for Jardine & Matherson Co.
Steps of the old customs house.
I think that there are a few things around here from that area, but I haven’t found them yet, or they are just gone. Anyway, if you’re walking around the famous old British Consulate area you can check out these other pieces of history and say Hi!