Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Friday, May 23, 2008

Keelung River Bridge

Stev Pitchford comes through again, this time with some photos taken on and around the Keelung River bridge that was near the USTDC compound. All of these pictures were taken in Sept. 1959 except for the last one, which was taken in Nov 1959. His comments appear below:

When you left the front entrance of the TDC compound, you went up to a road by the Keelung River.

Going left on that road took you toward the zoo, Chungshan N. Road, and the Keelung River Bridge.

Across the bridge to the right was the road to the 63 Club. Bear left instead, and you were on the road to Grass Mountain. If you look to the left of the bus on the bridge in this picture, you can see the driveway to the Grand Hotel.

This is a view from the bridge.

The Grass Mountain area is shrouded in clouds.
To see what this area looks like today, go to Google Earth and enter these coordinates: 25 4' 25.03"N, 121 31' 31.82"E. It is a different world today.


Don said...

I think that Misty said the bridge is no longer there.

Whenever I think of this bridge, I remember the food vendor carts that used to set up shop on the south end. I once tried dried squid there -- just once. There was sometimes a cart piled high with something that this western nose just couldn't handle at all. I never got close enough to see what it was, but I think it may have been dried shrimp or something similar.

As I recall, the river was pretty polluted when I was there. One time, after a heavy rain, I saw the carcass of a water buffalo floating by.

Anonymous said...


What is/was the bridge's real name. I see "Keelung River Bridge" and I've seen "Chung Shan Bridge" and even "Yuan Shan Bridge." I seem to remember "Yuan Shan" as being the correct name as the Grand Hotel is known as the "Yuan Shan Hotel" and the area by the old zoo was the "Yuan Shan Zoo." Also, the bridge crossed the "Tan Shui" or "Tan Jiang" River, not the Keelung River. I stand to be corrected by all of the above, but it's been so long since those days of over 40 years ago for me.


Anonymous said...

The bridge is gone - sort of.... In the 60's it was widened slightly and it survived until the '90s. I've noticed that the supports for the bridge are still there and the bridge is disassembled and laid out piece by piece on the north side of the river.

I'm guessing that they intended at some point to rebuild it. Before that can be done there will need to be some major rework of the roads in that area.

As for the name? I've seen it on maps as the Meiji Bridge but I suspect that it's been called many things over the years.

Don said...

Please understand that I was only in Taipei for 15 months during 1973 and 1974. My memories are pretty sketchy at best and any location names that I use here may very well be incorrect.

For example, I often refer to the Headquarters Support Activity (HSA) east and west compounds. As far as I know, the terms "east" and "west" were never used there. I applied the terms here simply as a geographical reference. In fact, I've also seen the compound itself referred to as "MAAG Compound" and "Signal Compound" at different times in its history.

I have often talked about the "63 Club," because that's what we called it when I was there. It was pointed out to me that its real name was the "Club 63" or the "MAAG Enlisted Club." During my time in Taipei, ownership of the club transferred to the navy and it was then called "The China Seas." It was just different names for the same building (or buildings, if you include the stag bar that was located across the parking lot during my time).

I trust that whenever I incorrectly identify any location, those who have the facts will continue to share them with the other readers.

Anonymous said...

I don't know that I ever heard an official name for the bridge. Like Misty, I have seen it referred to on old maps as the Meiji Bridge, probably a name given to it by the Japanese during their occupation. During my time there, we just called it the Keelung River Bridge.

From the area of the bridge, the river flows generally northwest for a few miles, where it flows into the Tamsui River. Depending on where you look, you'll find different English spellings of the rivers' names. I'm using the spellings that were common when I was there.

The Keelung River is a smaller river running across the northern part of Taipei. The Tamsui is a much wider river running through the western part of the city. At least they were the northern and western parts in 1959-60.

Anonymous said...

According to the Taiwan Image Photo Archive, the name of the bridge was the Yuanshan Bridge. See the third picture at:

Anonymous said...


Sounds like the bridge crossed the Keelung River which then flowed into the larger Tamsui. It was named Meiji Bridge during the Japanese Occupation 1895-1945, also later called the Keelung River Bridge, and shows on the government website as YuanShan Bridge. It's had several names over the years.

Thanks for the link.