It was in October 1908, when I was gunnery officer attached to the battleship Wisconsin (BB-9) that the Fourth Division of the Armored Cruiser Squadron, under Rear Admiral Seaton Schroeder cast anchor in the harbor of Amoy while on a cruise in Asiatic waters, ostensibly to pay courtesy calls at various Chinese ports.
The city of Amoy offered no facilities for the entertainment of a visiting fleet. Besides, smallpox was currently raging there and the city had been declared out of bounds for our men. The Chinese government, however, had gone to much expense and trouble to erect a large yamen and other structures on the grounds of the Lam Pho To temple, in order to provide a fitting and safe place for the entertainment of the officers and men of our Fleet. The extensive temple grounds had been laid out for football, baseball, and track sports, and gold and silver cups with dragon designs had been provided as prizes for the winning ship’s athletic teams.
ED. NOTE: The above account of duty on the Asiatic Station was taken from notes written by Captain George E. Gelm, Class of 1894, and edited by his daughter, Mrs. Marjorie H. Eustis. Captain Gelm died in 1944.