Located in Yongmo Village, Sanxiang Town, the Former Residence of Zheng Guanying was constructed in the 29th year of Emperor Guangxu¡¯s Reign in Qing Dynasty (1903). Sitting north, it features the gabbled roof and brick-wood structure, and consists of 2 rows. The central bedroom is remedied from the capped courtyard. Covering an area of around 204.5 square meters, the Former Residence was constructed with the money donated by Zheng Guanying for his father Zheng Qihua in 1903. The lintel of the Former Residence is inlayed with a 2.35¡Á0.65 stone tablet with the regular script intaglio ¡°Xiufeng family study¡±, and the dateline¡°1st month of spring in the 29th year of Emperor Guangxu¡¯s Reign¡±. In the Former Residence there are wood-cut hollowed-out houses and cabinets, which are carved with figures, birds and flowers, lions, representing the artistic characteristics of Zhongshan carvings in Qing Dynasty. There are also 2 wooden plaques ¡°Envoy to Siam for Investigation under the Imperial Order¡± and ¡°Guangxi Governor and Zuojiang Defense Circuit under the Imperial Order¡± (despaired). Managed and inhabited by Zheng Futian presently, the former residence is in good preservation.
Zheng Guanying was a native of Yongmo, Sanxiang Town. He had his initial name Guanying, courtesy name Zhengxiang, poetic name Taozhai, and alternative given names Qiyousheng, Muyongshanren, Luofusiheshanren. Zheng Guanying gave up imperial examination in the 8th year of the Emperor Xianfeng¡¯s Reign and went to Shanghai for business study. During the 20 years afterwards, he served as a comprador successively in Dent & Co. and Taigu Shipping Company, and then operated business on his own and made investment in shipping companies. After 1880 (the 6th year of the Emperor Guangxu¡¯s Reign), he served as a comprador of Shanghai Machinery Looming Office, deputy chief and comprador of the Shipping Investment Bureau, comprador of Shanghai Telegraph Office. Although having participated in foreign banks in his early years, Zheng Guanying was concerned about the current politics and zealous about western learning. Although he served for ¡°Westernization Group¡±, their opinions differed. During the Sino-France War, Zheng Guanying went to Guangdong Province to consult the military affairs of the Hunan Army Corps under the imperial order. He went to Siam, Phnom Penh and Saigon alone for detecting enemies¡¯ information and was opposed to Li Hongzhang¡¯s peace negotiation in Shanghai. Due to the exclusion from the ¡°Westernization Group¡± and the persecution by the foreign companies, Zheng Guanying was attacked both economically and politically. Therefore, he turned his attention away to financial research and gradually formed the thoughts of reformation in the beginning of the 1880s and 1890s. He expounded the confrontation of old learning with new learning through the relationship between ¡°Tao¡± and ¡°tool¡±, and believed ¡°returning from extensive to simple¡± would be the approach to western study. He proposed to defend foreign aggression through reform, believing that we must change dictatorship, practice legislature system, establish schools and cultivate talents, so as to strengthen national power. He criticized the ¡°westernization group¡± as ¡°penny wise and pound foolish¡±, incapable of resisting the foreign aggression. He also attached great importance to commercial development, believing that ¡°self-reliance should be realized through developing domestic capitalist commercial industry¡±, and ¡°the development of the domestic machinery manufacturing industry is the top priority¡±. He requested the policy of businessmen protection and the measures of businessmen protection such as ¡°canceling the customs, protecting custom duty, dissolving likin and investing freely¡±. After the 18th year of the Emperor Guangxu¡¯s Reign, he kept close relation with Shengxuanhuai Group and entered China Merchants Steamship Navigation Company in the same year. Zheng Guanying served as the comprador of Hanyang Ironworks and Canton-Hankow Railway Company respectively in the 22nd year (1896) and 32nd year (1906) of Emperor Guangxu¡¯s Reign. However, Zheng Guanying gradually became conservative after the 1890s and even upheld the constitutionalism of Qing Dynasty and was opposed to revolution. After the Revolution of 1911, he despised Yuan Shikai¡¯s claiming himself as the emperor and hated warlordism. He also wrote a number of works, including Lofty Words in a Prosperous Society.