Courtyard of the Happy Way, the Once "Western Migrants Concentration Camp", Rated AAA Tourist Attraction

The Courtyard of the Happy Way in Weifang, Shandong Province
The Courtyard of the Happy Way in Weifang, Shandong Province
By Steve Sun November 1st, 2021

The Weixian Concentration Camp Museum in Weifang, Shandong, was rated as a AAA tourist attraction by the Quality Rating Committee of Weifang Tourist Attractions last Tuesday.

The buildings of Le Dao Yuan or Courtyard of the Happy Way (also known as the Western Migrants Concentration Camp) in Weihsien, were built in 1882 and rebuilt in 1902, covering an area of more than 32.1 acres (130,000 square meters). With a history of nearly 140 years, it was an important witness to the social changes of Weifang City in modern times.

According to the records of Weifang City, Rev. Robert M. Mateer, M.D. of the Presbyterian Church in the USA, came to Wei County to preach in 1882 with his wife Asherah (once called Di Zhenzhu). With the assistance of local church members, he bought land at the East Gate of the old Wei County (formerly known as Weihsien) to build the Courtyard, which contained churches, schools, and hospital clinics, to be used for preaching, education, and medical treatment.

In recent years, the museum carried out the construction of a national AAA-rated tourist attraction. In addition to launching a series of training activities to improve the quality of service, it set up a mother-and-child room, a Lei Feng Service Site (Lei was a selfless soldier glorified by Chairman Mao Zedong), a cultural and creative store, and a medical clinic, as well as a ticket window and a visitor lounge area.

In terms of cultural construction, with the theme of "Build a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind", the museum explores the cultural power in the history of the Courtyard, promoting the concept of peaceful development in the whole society. It will "strengthen the management of a scenic landscape quality, scenic facilities, scenic environment, and service quality".

- Translated by Abigail Wu

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