North Sumatra, Tjong A Fie Mansion, built in 1899

North Sumatra, Tjong A Fie Mansion, built in 1899



History of The Tjong A Fie Mansion

A prominent home located in the heart of Medan City at Kesawan Square, this beautiful mansion is full of characters and cultures behind its history in Medan. Now, for limited time only, the mansion is opened to visitors for an inside look at the true history of Tjong A Fie, a historic man.

The Tjong A Fie Memorial Institure

Open to Public: 18 June 2009 – 18 August 2009

The History of Tjong A Fie

Tjong Fung Nam, born from Hakka family and more popularly known as Tjong A Fie is born on 1860 in the village of Sungkow, Moyan or Meixien.  He was raised from a simple home, with his elder brother Tjong Yong Hian.  Both have to give up schooling from a young age to help their father in his shop.  Even with limited education, Tjong A Fie quickly learned the business and trading skills and soon pursued his dreams to become independent and successful, hence leaving his village in search for a better life.

Tjong A fie

In 1880, after sailing for months, he finally arrived at the port of Deli (Medan).  At that time his brother Tjong Yong Hian had already been living in Sumatra for 5 years and had became a respected merchant in Sumatra.  However, the independent Tjong A Fie wanted to find his own living and went about finding his own work.  Tjong A Fie started to learn and develop business skills from working for Tjong Sui Fo. He developed his social skills interacting with people of all races, Chinese, Melayu, Arab, India, including Dutch.  He began by learning the language Bahasa Melayu which became the national language used in Medan Deli.

The Entertaining Hall

Tjong A Fie grew and became a well respected person in Medan Sumatra, where he stayed away from gambling, alcohol and prostitution in the developing town of Medan.  With his strong sense of leadership and fairness, he became the mediator for the Chinese. The Dutch also seek his help when their plantations have problems with labor issues.  His ability to solve these issues earned him to become the Chinese lieutenant. With his outstanding performance, he was elected to become a Captain (Kapiten).

The various rooms

Tjong A Fie was known as a respected businessman who has good social networks and has build good relation with the Sultan Deli, Makmoen Al Rasjid Perkasa Alamsjah and Tuanku Raja Moeda.  As they became good friends, Tjong A Fie became his trusted person and helped dealt with many business matters.

Tjong A Fie also became the first Chinese to own a tobacco plantation. He also developed and expanded to tea plantation in Bandar Baroe and large coconut/palm oil plantations.

Along with his elder brother Tjong Yong Hian, Tjong A Fie joint partner with Tio Tiaw Siat also known as Chang Pi Shih, his uncle as well as consulate of China in Singapore and set up a railway company known as The Chow-Chow & Swatow Railyway Co.Ltd. in China

The Bedroom

Tjong A Fie, a very active social contributor, donated much of his wealth building many facilities for the welfare of the poor regardless of race, cultural beliefs or nationality including many places of worships such as Chinese & Hindu temple, Mosques and Churches.

As a well respected person in Medan who owns many plantations, palm oil and sugar factories, banks and railway companies, he employed more than 10.000 workers. As recommended by Sultan Deli, Tjong A Fie was appointed member of gemeenteraad (city council) and cultuurraad (cultural council)

4 February 1921, Tjong A Fie passed away from apopleksia or bleeding in the brain, in his home at Jalan Kesawan, Medan.  It shook the city Medan, thousands flock to pay respect from all over including Sumatera Timur, Aceh, Padang, Penang, Malaysia, Singapore and Java. He became a legend known by many in Medan till today.

Four months before his death, Tjong A Fie wrote his will in the presence of notary Dirk Johan Facquin den Grave. Written in his will, he wanted all his wealth to be managed by Yayasan Toen Moek Tong which was established in Medan and Sungkow at the time of his death. The Yayasan based in Medan has been given 5 missions. Three of them are to provide financial help to young talented people that wished to complete their education, without no cultural or racial choice. Yayasan will also help the disabled who are no longer able to work including the blind or those with fatal illness.  Thirdly, the Yayasan will also help victims of natural disaster of any race or nationality.

For a more concise History in Bahasa Indonesia read at Tjong A Fie Indonesia

The Tjong A Fie Memorial Institure
Jl. Jend A. Yani No. 105 Medan
North Sumatera – Indonesia

Add Comment