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February 18, 2009

History of Ann Siang Hill: Part 4 of 4

History of Ann Siang Hill: Part 4 of 4
(Earlier posts: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3)
Quoted from information boards obtained at my local visit to Ann Siang Hill Park:

"Clove (Eugenia aromatica) and Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) plantations were established in many parts of the island, including Ann Siang Hill. Charles Scott was the first person to plant these spice trees on what was known then as Scotts Hill.

The hill was well-irrigated, as an underground spring ran through the area and was tapped from a well on the hill. Unfortunately, this favourable condition was insufficient to sustain the plantation.

Subsequently, a series of terrible blights decimated the Clove and Nutmeg plantations across the island, causing many plantation owners to abandon their land.

After Scott left his plantation, it passed through different hands before being sold to Chia Ann Siang's estate in 1894. From then on, the face of Ann Siang Hill changed forever. Shop houses sprang up; Chinese and Straits Chinese residents and businesses moved in; and the area was transformed into a lively urban district."

A park or garden or any place, for that matter, in Singapore can appeal for many reasons. Most of the time, the physical characteristics attract our senses. Sometimes, its the people or activities associated with a place that endear you. At other times, it could be a deeper reflection of its history that leaves an impact.

I would never say that I long to go back to that era of long ago. Perhaps it's just too distant in history to make much of an impact. Perhaps its because I know of no elders who could bring to life the immediacy of the past through spoken words.

But as I walked around Ann Siang Hill Park, saw those pictures, read about the past printed on the boards and now writing about it, these activities have led me to touch base with a facet of the past that no history textbook could ever do.

Is there a point in all these exercises? I don't have all the answers. What I do know is that by reaching out to the past, I am able to appreciate what I have today.

What gets you excited about the places that you like to visit? Share with me your ideas.

See more places. live more life.

Related Reads:
Other related posts to tour:
1. History of Ann Siang Hill Part 1 of 4
2. History of Ann Siang Hill Part 2 of 4
3. History of Ann Siang Hill Part 3 of 4
4. History of Ann Siang Hill Part 4 of 4
5. Maps, History and more on Ann Siang Hill Park

seen this scene that

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Sg Sky said...

I think most people in Sg are too busy with their own lives at the present moment to bat an eyelid at such places, must less to "reach out to the past". We dont value what we have unless they are taken away from our own lives.

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