History of Sham Shui Po
Originally a coastal settlement before reclamation brought it inland it was close to the important peninsular of Tak Kok Tsui with it's Cosmopolitan Dock, now since long gone of course. The last of the connection with the sea disappeared in the 1970s when the Nam Cheong Street nullah, or concrete stream, was covered over and today all that remains of it is the wide street which now runs past the open green park.
It was not until the mid 20th century that the area had started its climb to current prominence, though starting with the sad period of the Japanese Occupation of Hong Kong when a POW camp was built here.
The area has often accepted refugees from conflicts in the area and so many temporary residents have come and gone or been absorbed into the local population.
220AD - Lei Cheung Uk Han Tomb built and then ruined, would not be uncovered again until 1955.
1850 - Small Village of Sham Shi Po, situated on the fertile soil of the alluvial plain, was mostly rural farmland.
1898 - Comes under British colonial rule when the Qing Government leases the land from Boundary Street to Shenzhen River. In the same year a temple to Sam Tai Tsz was constructed on what is now Yu Chau Street. Together with the Pak Tai temple built 12 years later beside it this was to become the major Taoist place of worship in the district.
1918 - Ferry services operate between Central and Sham Shui Po Pier bringing customers to the Pei Ho Street Market.
1924 - A major police station was built at junction of Lai Chi Kok Road and Yen Chow Street, today it is a sub station but still in active use. The exterior can be viewed as a good example of colonial government buildings of this period.
1931 - Lui Seng Chun was built, now preserved as a Grade I (one) listed building it is one of the rare examples of this period which can now be seen in original condition. Now used by the Hong Kong Baptist University as a Chinese Medicine and healthcare centre to is an outsanding example of what was at the time common architecture with both Chinese, British and art deco influences.
1937 - Refujees from the Sino Japanese war start to arrive and population expands rapidly.
1942-1945 - Prison of War camp operated by Japanese Army of occupation.
1950-1952 - Continuing refugees arrive from the conflicts in China until the area is surrounded by squatter huts.
1955 - Reclamation means the last of the docks is closed and Sham Shui Po can no longer rely upon trade in and out for business. Trade turns to textile manufacture and combined with the continuing boom in population providing a ready supply of manpower the area becomes a small manufacturing centre.
1960s - Boom time for the region as it becomes the most important wholesale and manufacturing district for textiles.
1976 - Wholesale textile market established on the corner of Shek Kip Mei Street and Yu Chau Street.
1979-1981 - Vietnamese refugees held at refugee camp in Sham Shui Po.