This blog was created for USASTRATCOM Long Lines Battalion Army personnel who served in Taiwan during the 1965-72 time frame. Specifically, those who lived and worked in and around Taipei are the target. If you worked at the Grass Mountain or Gold Mountain facilities or anywhere in downtown Taipei, we would like to hear from you. All are welcome to visit and contribute to this blog. Your comments and pictures are encouraged.

Friday, March 9, 2012

H Housing, Grass Mountain, (Yangmingshan), Then And Now

One of the best contacts any of us Taiwan Military bloggers or Webmasters has is Army LTC Scott Ellinger.

He's provided us with much beyond pictures and copy. Since my military life was spent mainly on Grass Mountain, Scott has thrown me many bones which have formed the basis for some blog posts.

This posting is another example. I don't know where the black and white pictures came from, but they make for a good look at a section of Yangmingshan as it appeared around 1961-62.

Scott's "then and now"  PowerPoint shows his thoroughness and impeccable detail.

From the photographer's standpoint, you are looking down at the H Housing section on the outskirts of the village. 

The workers directly across in the picture are standing on ZhongYong Road which led directly to the back gate of the Grass Mountain work station. 

The key here is the guard house and the home beside it. 

The wall on the right is the dominant feature of this picture.  Almost all of the H Housing homes were identical. 

Based upon where we lived, my thoughts went to how the sanitary sewer lines were connected as well as the water pressure and source. 

All houses in the H Housing area look like this one.  What is surprising is that the roofs were mainly flat which indicates a continued effort at maintenance. 

Original PowerPoint slide courtesy of Scott Ellinger

Follow the two lines of the same color, and you will see how these houses look today and how they appeared about 50 years ago.

What was done here was to stroll up and down section H using Google Earth Street View. 

From there, we were able to find a larger picture of the black and white photo above it.  You can easily see the guard house and the first house on the left as it appears today. 

Check the wall on the right with the picture above it and the two photos match up pretty well.  The angle of the picture is everything

  For me, this is the first house to the left after entering JianYe Road. 

The home circled in yellow is the location of the third photo shown on this post. The house circled in blue is the one next to the guard house in the first picture.


  1. This was a lot of fun! Thank you John and Scott.

  2. I lived in the house at the end of the red road (close to the dirt field in this pic) in 1972-74 as a tween. The American Forces radio station was across the street and the American movie theater, rec center, bowling alley and tennis courts were where the dirt lot is. Was a fun place to live for two years.

  3. First of all, thanks for your comments. Did you know Smiley at the snack bar? Secondly, do you have any pictures of AFNT or movie theater? My kingdom for a movie theater picture!

  4. How wonderful to see these pics! I lived on the other side of the radio station (on the circle) from 1959 to 1963. There were 4 different models of these homes built for USAID - ours had the stone front. The homes on the circle look a little sad but can be clearly seen on Google Earth. There was no Teen Club then, but I used the steps next to where Websissy lived to spend plenty of time at the theater and the bowling alley. I have vivid memories of the banana spiders in their huge webs hanging between the movie theater eaves and the huge bamboos that fenced the adjacent tangerine orchard. There are 10+ document boxes full of slides and photos from the forties to the sixties that need to be scanned - be glad to share anything relevant that I come across. Thanks for a great site!

  5. Please consider joining our group, Yangmingshan US Military Housing on Facebook - we would love to hear your memories!