Zhulin Chen Old House 竹林陳家古厝

Shalu sanheyuan gateway
Old brick gateway to a traditional courtyard house in Shalu.

Last February I went on a productive day trip around Taichung 台中 without any particular destination in mind. After visiting an abandoned anti-airborne fortification on Dadushan and the eerie Wansheng Zizhu Monastery I breezed through Shālù 沙鹿 on the way to Wuqi Old Street 梧棲老街. While making a pitstop at a 7-Eleven on the side of the highway I noticed what looked like an old Qing dynasty building building obscured by some foliage and went to take a quick peek. Traditional courtyard homes, or sānhéyuàn 三合院, are an ubiquitous feature of rural Taiwan and yet another thing I regularly document wherever I go—and this one is unusually striking with its red brick archway.

An abandoned farmhouse in Shalu
A charming farmhouse abandoned next to the highway in Shalu.

Much to my surprise I chanced upon an entire blog about this place while running a quick search on its location, Zhúlín (Bamboo Forest) Village 竹林村. For reference, the author designates this place the Zhulin Chen Old House 竹林陳家古厝. In that blog the author surmises this house would have once been the residence of the mayor of the town—but from what I gather this is informed speculation rather than an authoritative history. Even so, I am somewhat amazed that I was able to find any information about it whatsoever. Despite its location next to a major road it feels almost completely forgotten.

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