|Warehouse of Douglas, Cass & Co|
As early as 1870, Pi-a-tou was already home to Jardine Matheson & Co, followed by Milisch & Co and Dodd & Co. Records show that a Mr Hankard leased from 紀化三 in 1894 the whole area complete with paddy fields, orchards, and cottages at an annual rent of 2,400 yuan.
Douglas Lapraik & Co was established in 1884 and re-organized as Lapraik, Cass & Co in 1893. In 1897, it became the agent for Shell Transport & Trading Co (established in 1902). On Sep 1, 1909, Shell leased the land in perpetuity from the gov't and joined force with Rising Sun Petroleum Co, the latter was established in Japan in 1900 with a branch office in Taiwan opened in 1910. The Shell - Rising Sun Petroleum Co started operation in Tamsui in 1911, and on May 27, 1912, the company leased its company site also in perpetuity.
The Rising Sun Petroleum Co transported its oil by train to other cities in Taiwan. There were three tanks, a 60-ton sedimentation tank, a 1,200-ton kerosene storage tank, and a 2,500-ton oil storage tank. On the company campus, there were oil pumps, warehouses, and a residence for the caretakers. Oil arrived in Tamsui via possibly oil tankers and then pumped into the tanks through steel pipelines. The operation was halted by the Japanese Colonial Gov't in April 1944 in preparation for the war then rapidly advancing from the Philippines. And on Oct 12, the site was in fact attacked by F6F Hellcats based on carrier USS Intrepid.
Source: Chih-yuan Chang, The historic preservation and rebirth of the Shell Oil Company storage in Tamsui, Taiwan. PhD Thesis, Graduate School of Design, National Yunlin Univ of Sci and Tech, 2007