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​TPL Recounts Dadaocheng’s Golden Past with Photo Collection

​TPL Recounts Dadaocheng’s Golden Past with Photo CollectionFor over 10 years, Taipei Public Library (TPL) has regularly organized calls for old photos of Taipei City, hoping to provide opportunities to present Taipei’s nostalgic past to citizens and visitors. As a part of this ambition, it offered public access to over 3,000 items to its online digital archives to introduce viewers to the golden years of Dadaocheng.
Datong District, located in the southwestern part of Taipei City, was known as “Dadaocheng” in its early days. The name originated from the rows of unhusked rice in the courtyards placed under the sun to dry. The records of the earliest commercial activities in Dadocheng can be traced all the way back to 1851. With the growing trade at wharfs along Tamsui River, residents of Dadaocheng began to accumulate wealth while the neighborhood became even more prosperous.
The religious center of Dadaocheng is the Xiahai City God Temple. Starting as a humble shrine located near present day Laosong Elementary School, the temple itself was constructed with funds raised by the local gentry. The development of early-day Dadaocheng is closely tied to this place of worship.
With the opening of the port of Tamsui in 1860, Dihua Street in Dadaocheng became a busy hub overwhelmed by the flow of goods in Taipei City, with the majority of commodities being tea leaves and fabric. Under Japanese rule, the focus of trade shifted from western nations to Japan and Southeast Asian destinations. After the Pacific War, Dadaocheng saw a decline in its role as a trade terminal due to Taiwan tea being outcompeted by Celyon Tea. It also saw a shrinking population as people moved out to the newer communities in other parts of the city.
For those who seek to share their stories through pictures at home, TPL holds a call for old photos annually around July and August. Residents can sign up for the activity and submit aged pictures to the contest. For more details, please visit TPL’s Chinese website: Link