City News
S M L Print(open a new window) Post to Facebook(open a new window) Post to Line(open a new window) Post to Plurk(open a new window) Post to Twitter(open a new window)
Date : 2022-09-29        Source : New Taipei City Government
Grand opening of Ruishan Washery: a hidden gem revealed
Ruishan Washery was officially opened today (9/18). Mayor of New Taipei City, Hou You-yi(侯友宜), was present in the opening ceremony. He was deeply impressed by the efforts made to restore this washery to its old glory. Ruishan Washery once a ruin now rises from the ashes and stands tall in front of everyone. In Ruishan Washery, visitors can admire the beauty of this wooden building and its doweled joint wooden construction, and can also find out the history of the once prosperous mining industry. In the mining-themed history exhibition, it shows the whole operation of coal washing and the processing of it, which has never been seen before in Taiwan. The exhibition also tells the life stories of the miners in Hou-tung from different perspectives. With the power of modern multimedia and the sound and light technology, it brings people a more fun and closer-to-life experience.

Mayor Hou You-yi(侯友宜) stated that Hou-tung Ruishan Washery symbolized the history of the booming coal mining in the mid and late 20th century in Taiwan, and that it carried many touching stories of the miners who came to Hou-tung to scramble for a living. The New Taipei City government is proud to bring back Ruishan Washery that revives the memory of the mining industry. The government has been working closely with Ministry of Culture on refurbishing Ruishan since 2019, and after three year’s hard work, Ruishan Washery is ready to welcome visitors and tell its stories. The first floor of Ruishan Washery is built of reinforced concrete while the second and the third floor are built of wood. In order to restore it to what it used to be, the architects use a large amount of old timber, such as cypress and fir, which dates back to the Japanese occupation of Taiwan. The old timber is hand-picked and combined with the new by the master carpenters. With their proficient craftsmanship and the modern methods of construction, the architects have finally finished refurbishing Ruishan Washery. When visiting the washery, people can really appreciate the beauty of the timber structure, as if they were looking at the golden age of the old mining business.

Chief of the Tourism and Travel Department, Yang Cheon-ming(楊宗珉), points out that the exhibition area in Ruishan Washery is the result of many people’s hard work, including collecting historical documents, miners’ relics, the information of the washing process and the production of coal, and stories of the old miners. The exhibition that shows the way of life of the old miners is presented through storytelling. Visitors can look at miners’ life through small things and then get the big picture in the end. In “Coal mining to make the country rich” exhibition area on the first floor, the Ruishan Washery chronicles list all the historical events in Hou-tung. In the interactive multimedia area “Thuànn-khang,” people can listen to the miners talking about their daily work and life by touching the image of piles of coal; in their conversation, their wisdom at work and sense of value are revealed and quite thought-provoking. In this area, from the literature on the exhibits, visitors can learn everything about coal mining from project division, standard equipment for daily work, settings for the ventilation within the tunnels, organizing a rescue team to safety education and training. All of these will make visitors appreciate the miners’ unyielding spirit in such hardship. 

Head to “Context of coal production” on the second floor; there visitors can watch multimedia animation to find out how coal is washed and prepared in Ruishan Washery. In the video, many machines, such as JIG coal washing machine、Baum washer, are used to wash and grade coal so that it can be used as fuel in coal-fired power plants and steam trains. At the far end of the exhibition area, another video plays, where the former factory director Wang Guo-wei(王國緯) tells about his life and the history of mining at Ruishan Washery. Beside the literature and relics, multimedia and the sound and light technology are used in the game zone to make visitors better understand the glorious history of Ruishan. The Tourism and Travel Department would like to invite all the citizens to come and feel the charm of this unique mining culture and history. 

Mayor Hou You-yi(侯友宜) sincerely hopes that all the people in Taiwan can rediscover the once prosperous mining business in the Hou-tung area so that beside being a cat friendly town, Hou-tung can play a more significant role in both mining history and miners’ stories in Taiwan. In the future, the government of New Taipei City will keep on working to make Hou-tung a place of tourism and recreation, and an eco-friendly international mining park. Ruishan Washery is officially opened today. The exhibition area will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closing day is every first Monday of the month(If it is a holiday, it will be put off to the next day) and the Chinese New Year’s Eve. For more information, please visit our websites.