The Clear Water Pool in Changsha

The former Meeting Place of Hunan Communist Party Committee is at a site known as Clear Water Pool, or Qing Shui Tang. The original pool became overgrown and eventually disappeared but has since been restored. The entrance to the grounds is through heavy iron gates. Immediately ahead, on a 15-foot pedestal, is a 40-foot whit e marble statue of Mao Zedong dressed in a long overcoat and standing with one arm raised. Just behind it is the Clear Water Pool.

A little way beyond the pool at the bottom of a hill stands a restored house typical of those in Hunan Province: the outside wail of the court is clearly new, but the house itself is the original. Mao occupied it for about 8 months from autumn 1921 before moving to Shanghai.

You enter into a small courtyard and face the entrance door set in dark-stained wooden walls. On either side of the door there are the traditional zigzag patterns set into the window frames. The first room is a vestibule with dark wood paneling. There is a portrait of Mao as a young man, apparently taken when he was living in the house. The second room is the bedroom, with a traditional Hunan bed-a type of four-poster with a covered top. On the wall is a portrait of Mao’s wife, Yang Kaihui, with her two children. The photograph, taken in 1925, shows Mao’s sons, Mao Anying who died while fighting for the Chinese in North Korea in 1950, and Mao Anching, who is reportedly still alive.

The next room is the bedroom that was occupied by Yang Kaihui’s mother. Then there is an outside kitchen with a small iron stove, a dining room with a small table, a meeting room, and another bedroom used for guests. All the rooms have dark-paneled walls from floor to ceiling. The furniture is not the original.

The is a modern hall near the house with an exhibition devoted to the events surrounding the creation of the Party committee in Hunan.