Lee's ancestors probably arrived
in Taiwan during the period of Emperor Yon-chien
and then moved to Yeh-mei of Da-shi. Bing-shen
Lee, father of Teng-fan, was in the business of
tea and rice. Bing-shn Lee was very successful
and became a rich man in Da-shi. Teng-fan Lee
passed the government exam in the 6th year of
Emperor Sien-feng (1856) and was then recommended
by local government to the Emperor in the 9th
year of Emperor Sien-feng (1859). In the 4th year
of Emperor Tung-chi (1865), Teng-fan passed the
government exam held in Fu-kien and was then recommended
to serve in the Emperor's cabinet in 1868. He
was considered a very important person at that
time. Later on, the original name of Da-shi was
changed from "Da-du-kan" to Da-ke-kang",
then changed again to "Da-keh-kang".and
then to Da-shi.
Lee's residence was built in the 9th year of
Emperor Sien-feng (1859) after Teng-fang was recommended
to the Emperor by the local government. The compound
was huge. There are two main buildings and four
side buildings. The living and reception rooms
are located on the center line of the layout.
The side buildings on both sides guard the courtyard.
The buildings on the center are most important.
The farther from the center the less important.
The Lee family worships their ancestors in the
center of the main hall. The roof of this portion
of building is taller than other portions to signify
its supreme position. The reception area is the
major entrance to the building.
The main gate is placed slightly behind its ordinary
position to make this space the focus of sight.
The side buildings are living quarters. The rooms
are assigned to family members according to their
The woodcarvings are the most interesting part
of this building. There are many carvings. The
craftsmanship is superb. You can see a number
of fine carvings on the main gate. All carvings
of flowers, birds, and animals look very delicate.
The appearance is so tender and masculine. Teng-fang
Lee was a scholar and was good at writing and
painting. There are many pieces of calligraphy
and paintings in this building. If you visit this
building, you must not miss them.