Tuesday, September 5, 2017

[Meet Daegu History Today] Dongsan Medical Center and Keisung School

Dongsan Medical Center and Keisung School
Yeongnam Province’s First Western Hospital and Secondary Education Institution

Dongsan Medical Center (Image: Google Map)

A number of expats have heard of Daegu’s Seomun Market, one of the most famous food spots in Korea. Also, Daegu Modern Culture Alley has many popular places like Jeil Church and Old House of Sang-hwa Lee. What is lesser known is Jejungwon and Keisung School. It is understandable considering that they are not touristsy spots but knowing the background is worth a try since it will make your traveling Daegu even more fun! Shall we get started?

  Daegu Jejungwon: Dongsan Medical Center   

Jejungwon refers to the first western medical hospital built in 1885. The place, first coined as Ganghyewon, changed its name to Jejungwon after two weeks. The name literally means House of Universal Helpfulness. This term was widely used in Seoul, Pyeongyang, and other areas to refer a western style medical center.

Seomun Market on the left and Dongsan Medial Center on the right (Image: Google Map)

In Daegu, a Jejungwon actually started as a pharmacy called “American Pharmacy” in Yakjeon Alley by an American missionary, Woodbridge O. Johnson, and later reopened as Jejungwon to offer medical cares. At that time, they used an old Korean style house, Choga(house made of straw, wood and soil). This particular house did not have a good ventilation and had trouble with odor, smoke, and noise. Eventually it was broken down by a storm in 1905 and moved to near today’s Seomun Market and built a new building the next year. This is the prototype of a western hospital in Yeongnam province.
Jejungwon later became Dongsan Medical Center with contemporary facilities, which is now one of the biggest hospitals located in Daegu. You will easily find a Daegu friend who was born in Dongsan Medical Center since countless babies have been born there!

─  Location: Seomun Market Station(Line3)
─  Address: 56, Dalseong-ro, Jung-gu, Daegu, Korea
─  Address(KR): 대구 중구 달성로 56
─  Website: http://www.dsmc.or.kr/

  Keisung School  

You are probably familiar with Jeil Church at Cheongna Hill. Some background of that place actually starts with Keisung School. Keisung School is the first secondary education institution established in Yeongnam province. It is the predecessor of Daegu Keisung middle and high schools. In 1906, an American Presbyterian missionary, James Adams established Keisung school in Nan-mun. Two years later, Adams Hall was built in a two-story western style for the first time in Yeongnam province. Adam Hall was designed in Gothic style but finished with beautiful Hanok roof. The school first started with 27 students and total 12 students graduated at the first graduation in 1911

Adam Hall (Image: Jung-gu Office)
Early graduates from Keisung School (Image: ShinDongA)

The pursuit of educating young continued through Japanese oppression and McPherson and Henderson halls were built. What makes the school special is that it served as a prime location to lead independence movement against Japanese ruling. Their effort is best exemplified as their active engagement in March 1st Movement. Although many students were put into jail at the time, their dignity and courage still resonate in the school and students today.

Henderson Hall(Image: Jung-gu Office)

Now, Keisung High School moved to Sangridong Campus. However, all old buildings are preserved in the original place. When you visit Cheongna Hill, you will get to see James Adams’ house which has turned into a small exhibition hall. 

─  Location: Seomun Market Station(Line3)
─  Address: 35, Dalseong-ro, Jung-gu, Daegu, Korea
─  Address(KR): 대구 중구 달성로 35

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