Pagoda Island

The Voyage of the USS Juniata (1883-1885)

Pagoda Island

The ship’s log places Juniata at “Pagoda Anchorage” from Christmas 1884 until April 6, 1885. Pagoda Island and the port city of Fuzhou, also called "Foochow," lie near the mouth of the Min River. Pagoda Anchorage, or Mawei Shipyard, has been called the "birthplace of Chinese maritime shipbuilding." The Luoxing ("Falling Star") Pagoda, is Mawei’s great landmark. Built by Lady Liu Qiniang, it dates back to the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279).  The seven-story, 31.5-meter high, octagonal granite pagoda has been a mariner’s landmark for centuries. During the Ming Dynasty, European visitors gave it the English name, “China Pagoda.”

Another traveler recalled his visit here in 1887: “How well I remember reaching Sharp Peak on the 28th day of April, 1887! It was a perfect day and the journey up the river was most fascinating, for it was only three years before this that the French Bombardment had occurred, and there were still evidences of it in the battered forts and derelicts at Pagoda Anchorage. Also to be seen were the graves of the large number of Chinese who lost their lives in that one-sided battle" (H. Shelley Brand, January 23, 1932).

Fuzhou, China