1909: The Inaugural Illumination of Taiwan’s Pengjia Lighthouse

September 20, 1909

A lighthouse on Pengjia Islet, a volcanic island that is about 38 miles (60 kilometers) northeast of the northern tip of Taiwan, first went into service. The Pengjia Lighthouse was built in response to a large number of shipwrecks in that region of the Pacific Ocean at the time and the consequent need to make sea approaches to Taiwan much safer. (At the time of the Pengjia Lighthouse’s debut, Taiwan was under Japanese rule.)

Construction on this lighthouse began in 1906, and it was completed despite such formidable challenges as strong monsoon winds and other stormy conditions ravaging the area. Both the Pengjia Lighthouse and the namesake island where it is located are administered by the government of northern Taiwan’s major port city of Keelung.

Those who have worked at the Pengjia Lighthouse during its longtime existence to date have included Huang Ching Ying, whose service at a total of 27 Taiwanese lighthouses in the course of his 47-year career earned him the nickname “King of Lighthouses.” He was stationed at the Pengjia Lighthouse during the 1950s.

A cylindrical white-brick tower with a black lantern dome, the Pengjia Lighthouse is 94 feet (26.2 meters) in height. This lighthouse was designated a historic site by Keelung in 2015. In 2022, the Pengjia Lighthouse was formally granted national cultural heritage status. A public announcement of this designation was made via Facebook by Chen Ching-ping, Keelung’s cultural affairs bureau director.

Photo Credit: Yee’s photo – IMGP8608 (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%E5%BD%AD%E4%BD%B3%E5%B6%BC%E7%87%88%E5%A1%94_IMGP8608_(4789496016).jpg) – licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en

For more information on the Pengjia Lighthouse, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pengjia_Lighthouse

Additional information on lighthouses in the northern part of Taiwan is available at https://www.ibiblio.org/lighthouse/twn1.htm

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