Ann Siang Hill

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So, what is the relevance of the naming of the ‘Nutmeg & Clove’ cafe? Well, this area was purchased by Chia Ann Siang (1832-1892) who was a wealthy Mallaca-born Chinese sawmiller. This area of land had previously been owned by Charles Scott who had cultivated nutmegs and cloves here. Aparently, nutmeg trees are very fussy growers and the orchards here would not have survived or been very productive at all. The principle nutmeg and clove-producing islands were the Moluccas Islands, but they were tightly controlled by the Dutch, so the English East India Company had hoped to grow these valuable crops themselves.

When you walk through the streets here, you will see many delightful Chinese shophouses which in the past would have been clan houses and exclusive social clubs. Illiterate Chinese migrants would have come here to have letters written for them and to arrange for monies to be sent home to China.

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© Helen Gray 2021