are other legends too, of buried treasure, baddies getting struck by
thunderbolts that cleft rocks in two, hence Weird
Stone Corner, another local attraction, and then there were
the foreigners. Missionaries were the first of them, renting rooms and
whole houses from locals in the 1880s, in the valleys that run off the
mountain. Then the international community of Shanghai got wind of the
refreshing breezes and pure spring water of Moganshan. It was just the
place they were looking for, healthy and cool, and a darn site closer
to Shanghai than Kuling, now Lushan, their main heat retreat, ‘discovered’
only a few years earlier. So they bought it, the top of the mountain
that is, for fifty dollars.
foreigners, both missionaries and businessmen, divided their new acquisition
into lots and built houses of wattle and mud. The typhoons made short
work of those, so they quarried local stone and used that. Many of the
original houses are still standing today.
Moganshan Summer Resort Association was soon established, which acted
in no little way like the Municipal Council that governed Shanghai.
Committees were formed, edicts issued and funds raised for important
things like a
church, tennis courts and a swimming pool. The swimming pool still
exists. The tennis courts do too, under a dense tangle of undergrowth.
The church is the grand building on the Ridge Road. It is now a carpentry
store and workshop.
By 1910 approximately 300 foreigners, mostly Americans and British,
had set up summer homes on the hill. A few, very few, stayed here year
round. One of those latter was R.J. Felgate, the manager of the local
store, who was murdered, probably by his unpaid carpenter in January
1912.He was banged hard on the head and then froze to death or else
died of shock. The attackers were some robbers (probably set up by his
unpaid carpenter). That was about the only scandal, apart from many
minor cases of ‘honeymooning’ couples seeking a secluded
liaison away from Shanghai.