Not far from the Shihgang Dam, a group of men were playing croquet in a grassy space among the reeds and farms along the river.
Central Taiwan is filled with relics. Not historical relics, or religious remains, but structures laid to waste by the 921 earthquake, and then preserved by the miracle of public construction funds as parks and memorials. The Shihgang Dam, outside of the small town of Shihgang east of Fengyuan, is one of many such sites.
My son atop the Dam
The Dam was finished in 1977. Roughly 350 meters long and 25 meters high, according to the signs at the site, the quake raised one abutment 12 meters, utterly wrecking one side of the dam. It no longer has the ability to perform flood regulation, and is now used only for irrigation. A new weir constructed upstream has taken over its flood duties. It remains an important water source for Changhua County, according to one government website. Many local government websites promote it as a tourist site ('the mighty Shihgang Dam"). Having experienced it in person, I can only say that the target market must consist of some terribly thrill-starved tourists.
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