The 104-year-old People’s Park has been a major relaxing and leisure spot for many locals middle aged and older. As the city developed and expanded—people now have a lot more choices in entertainment—the park lost its vitality and now stands quietly in the heart of Guancheng.
Still, the elderly enjoy their meditative tai chi, passionate ballroom dancing or long strolls with their grandchildren, while catching up with friends. The park was built in 1912 and originally named after Yushan, one of the two hills in the park. The city’s first museum and public library were also both established inside the park. During WW2, the museum was occupied by Japanese troops as a command center.
The Republic of China-style building was later renovated and became a museum to showcase objects of intangible cultural heritage. Also during WW2, Dongguan’s first civilian force, Dongjiang Column, was created in the park in 1938 with over 100 people. A monument was erected on top of the hill to honor the group.