History of Sago Lane

Sago Street /Sago Lane, a place the Cantonese name ominously called “street of the dead”, famous for its ‘death houses’. These were funeral parlours, also serving as hospice facilities for the migrants who were terminally ill, chronic sick and dying, to wait out their last days on the upper floors. The operators would also arrange the funeral services for the deceased on the ground floor.


In 1849, there were 15 Chinese and 2 European sago factories at Sago Street, hence the name of these roads.

The living carried out an uneasy existence with the dead-often funeral sounds reaching the ears of upper floor occupants, a harsh reminder of the inevitability of death.


Nearby shops supported this industry by selling funeral peripherals. A number of shophouses were also used as brothels and restaurants.


Local Cantonese called this Little Temple Street after the Toh Peh Kong Temple, a single storey temple built in 1895.


Jinrickshas arrived from Shanghai in 1880. Most of the early jinricksha pullers stayed in densely populated areas like Sago Street and Banda Street. There was a jinricksha station at Sago Lane in the early 1900s.

Sago Street 1910

Sago Street 1920

Sago Street 1950


There used to be an open market with a string of stalls lining Sago Lane, Trengganu Street and Smith Street. In the evening, the wet market would turn into stalls selling cooked food.


In the 1970s, some of Sago Lane’s death houses had to make way for the Chinatown Complex. After that, the land at the front of Sago Street/Sago Lane was left vacant.


Sago is a starch extracted from the pith of sago palm stems, Metroxylon sagu, which grows in tropical regions of South East Asia. It is a major staple food for the lowland peoples of New Guinea and the Moluccas, where it is called saksak and sagu. It is traditionally cooked and eaten in various forms, such as rolled into balls, mixed with boiling water to form a paste, or as a pancake. Sago is often produced commercially in the form of "pearls". Sago pearls can be boiled with water or milk and sugar to make a sweet sago pudding. Sago pearls are similar in appearance to tapioca pearls, and the two may be used interchangeably in some dishes. There were many such sago factories in this area in the past, thus the names of these streets.


The temple site is in Chinatown at the current vacant land bounded by South Bridge Road, Sago Street, Sago Lane and Banda Street. The site area is slightly under 3,000 square meters, with length of 85 meters and width of 35 meters.


Looking towards South Bridge Road (Great Horse Road), adjoining the left side of the site is Sago Street, where old 3-storey shophouses house a number of souvenir shops and small eateries.

Bibliography & Websites

Bibliography:

  1. Chinatown, an album of a Singapore community, Times Books International, Archives and Oral History Department, 1983, ISBN 9971 65 117 3, pages 100 - 109
  2. Kreta Ayer, Faces and Voices, Kreta Ayer Citizens’ Consultative Committee, 1993, ISBN 981-3002-73-5, page 21

Websites:

  1. Sago - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

硕莪街的历史

硕莪街/硕莪巷,广东话里意为“死人街”,以街上的“大难馆”闻名。这里有一些殡仪馆也给生病和濒死的南洋移民提供临终关怀服务,这些垂死的移民会在殡仪馆的楼上等待天年。 殡仪馆会在街上举办葬礼仪式。


1849年,硕莪街上有15家中国和2家欧洲的西米加工厂, 因此而得名西米街。 (Sago是西米的意思)

频繁的葬礼声音传开,使住在楼上活着的人过着不安的生活, 时刻提醒着死亡的到来。


附近的商店通过出售葬礼相关边物品来支持殡葬业,一些店屋也被用来做妓院和餐厅。


当地的广东人称这条街为小庙街,是来自大伯公庙,这是一栋建于1895年的单层神庙。


黄包车在1880年从中国上海流传到本地,早期的人力车夫大多住在人口稠密的地区,比如硕莪街和班达街。 在19世纪初,硕莪街有一个黄包车站点。

硕莪巷 1910

硕莪巷 1920

硕莪巷 1950


这里曾经是一个露天市场,有一连串的摊位分布在硕莪巷,丁加奴街和史密斯街。 到了夜晚, 这个市场会变成售卖熟食的夜市。


在19世纪70年代, 硕莪街的一些大难馆不得不关闭,以配合牛车水的重新规划。 从那以后,硕莪街/硕莪巷前的土地就空置了。


西米是一种从生长在东南亚热带地区的西米棕榈茎的髓中提取的淀粉。它是新几内亚和摩鹿加群岛低地人民的主要主食,在那里被称为萨沙克萨克和萨古。传统上,它被煮熟并以各种形式食用,如滚成球,与沸水混合成糊状,或作成煎饼。西米通常以“珍珠”的形式商业化生产。西米珍珠可以跟水或牛奶和糖一起煮,做成一种甜甜的西米布丁。西米珍珠在外观上与木薯珍珠相似,这两种珍珠可以在某些菜肴中互换使用。以前这一带以前有很多这样的西米工厂,所以叫西米街(硕莪街音译)。


佛牙寺龙华院的工地位于牛车水岁南桥路,硕莪街,硕莪巷和班达街之间一块的空地上。 占地面积约3000平方米,长85米,宽35米。


向着南桥路(大马路)望过去,沿街左侧的就是硕莪街,那里有历史悠久的三层店屋,有一些售卖纪念品的商店和餐馆。

参考书目及网站

参考书目

  1. Chinatown, an album of a Singapore community, Times Books International, Archives and Oral History Department, 1983, ISBN 9971 65 117 3, pages 100 - 109
  2. Kreta Ayer, Faces and Voices, Kreta Ayer Citizens’ Consultative Committee, 1993, ISBN 981-3002-73-5, page 21

参考网站

  1. Sago - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia