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Notes on the Geography of China: Gulangyu: Photo 2

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A resident, Philip Pitcher, wrote in 1909 that "Kolongsu... lies within easy rowing distance of Amoy city. It has consequently been the residential quarter of the merchantile [sic] and missionary community in this part of the Far East. For situation and natural attractions, with its beautiful harbor and grand hills around it, it is unsurpassed anywhere along this entire coast. From two hundred to two hundred and fifty foreigners reside here in very comfortable homes; and since the inauguration of the Municipal Council's regulations these homes have been placed under vastly improved conditions...."

Pitcher gives a little background, too, explaining that "when the British troops were stationed here on this island in 1841 they were stricken down by the hundred with fever. Hence the place had no attractions for the missionaries and merchants who came in the early forties. But about 1860 they began to move over, having discovered their mistake, and have lived here very comfortably ever since in well built houses, situated for the most part on high elevations, with sea views on all sides. (Philip Wilson Pitcher, In and About Amoy, 1909, pp. 117-119.)

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