Surrounded by picturesque lush countryside, green mountains, deep river valleys and crystal clear waters, the village of Shilin sits on a mountain slope right in the heart of Danshan Chishui’s scenic landscape. With a history of 650 years, Shilin is a classic example of an ancient Chinese mountain village preserving traditional local architecture and customs typical of eastern Zhejiang Province.
Shilin was founded in 1365 shortly before the collapse of the Yuan Dynasty. The founder of the village, Shen Tailong, was a resident of Yuyao, who was tired of his official post and was looking for a place to retire with his wife and children. Shen and his family also dug the ancient well, which still provides Shilin’s villagers precious, crystal-clear drinking water. Even today, Shen is the surname of almost every resident of Shilin who respect their ancestors in the clan’s tribal temple, which is located on the eastern edge of the village.
Shilin also has a place of honor in modern Chinese history because it was the first village in the Siming Mountains to establish a branch of the Chinese Communist Party in June 1938. The branch was the headquarters of the Party in the mountains and the base for guerrilla warfare, which was waged during the Chinese Civil War against the Japanese and the Kuomintang Army.