According to Chorography of Zhuluo County, ‘Tianfei Temple Temples: …One is at Guandu Door, which was originally constructed at the peak of the mountain.’ It meant that: in 58 of Kangxi era (in 1719), originally constructed at the peak of Elephant Trunk Mountain, Tianfei Temple was moved downward to the mountainside, supposedly since an earthquake in Taipei caused the decrease of the water in the barrier lake in 33 of Kangxi era. The location of dock for the cargo ships loaded with sulfur and groceries from Fujian to Beitou was moved downward correspondingly; the temple was moved downward accordingly.
According to Inscription Regarding the Renovation of the Front Hall of Guandu Temple on the stela now preserving in Guandu Temple and Beitou Public School Principal’s Report in 5 of Taisho era (1916), Guandu Temple was renovated for many times in Qing dynasty, like 5 times in 39 and 47 of Qianlong era (1774 and 1782), in 17 of Jiaqing era (1812), in 3 of Daoguang era (1823) and in 16 of Guangxu era (1890). Records of other brief renovations were not found.
According to Beitou Public School Principal’s Report, in June, 46 of Qianlong era, due to the oblique position of the temple, the administrator, Mr. Deng Da-Feng, discussed with villagers and ended up that 2,000 dollars were contributed from the treasury of the temple; 2,400 dollars were donated by villagers. Renovation got started in the next year. The economy in Taiwan was at its peak in 40s of Qianlong era; the expense for the renovation was the highest among renovations in Qing dynasty. The quantity of stones used was also the top. Besides local donors, citizens of Fujian and Guangdong also made donation. Most of part of Guandu Temple we see today was based on the renovation during the period. Current Main Hall of Guandu Temple preserves the four-gold-columns erected by Deng Da-Feng, hence supposedly a Hakka from Guangdong or Fujian. The dragon columns in Praying Hall were engraved with the words ‘donated by Mr. Pan Yuan-Kun, Mr. Liu Shi-Sun, and Mr. Jin Jia-Yu, residents of Beitou.’ ‘Residents of Beitou’ were referred to Natives in Beitou. Furthermore, the dragon-tiger-carvings at both sides of the Sanchuan Door were donated by residents of Tongan. These constructions and decorations proved that the renovation was a cooperation between people from Fujian, Guangdong, and Taiwanese Plains Aborigines.
The renovation in 17 of Jiaqing era (1812) was for the restoration of the parts damaged by the previous earthquake. The traffic through the sea was blocked; the business was declining; the people were poor, due to the rise of pirates at that time, however. The renovation was focused on restoration. More than 10 years later, in 3 of Daoguang era (1823), a strong typhoon severely damaged Guandu Temple. Mr. Chen Yuan-Dan and other administrators launched renovation in the next October with the treasury of the temple, 2,400 dollars, and 400 dollars donated by the villagers. The stone windows and stone carvings at that time were still preserved, engraved with ‘donated by Mr. Gao Guo-Ji, a student from Tongyi,’ ‘erected by Mr. Xu Guo-Liang, Honggang, Raoyi, Guangdong,’ and ‘donated by Mr. Tai Chang-Sheng.’ Gao Guo-Ji and Xu Guo-Liang were Chinese people while Tai Chang-Sheng was a Native of Pingpu Tribe. It illustrates that Guandu Temple was commonly worshiped by immigrants from Fujian and Guangdong, and Taiwanese Plains Aborigines all the time.
In 4 of Daoguang era, the last important renovation of Guandu Temple in Qing dynasty was in a great scale. The monument engraved with the names of the donors and the amount they donated is still preserved on stonewalls at both sides of Merit Hall, Guandu Temple. Besides residents of Beitou, the rich and stores in Taipei Basin, even the merchants in Hsinchu and Quanzhou made donation enthusiastically.
There was a renovation in 16 of Guangxu era; it was a smaller one, however. The chairman of the temple’s board of directors, Mr. Lin Huan-Guang restored the damaged parts and the left and right wings of the temple with the treasury of the temple, 1,800 dollars, and 500 dollars donated by the villagers. The Battle of Tamsui with France in 10 of Guangxu era affected the economy; the renovation part was smaller than the one in 3 of Daoguang era. Four years later, in 20 of Guangxu era (1894), Taiwan was ceded to the Empire of Japan due to the defeat of Qing dynasty in First Sino-Japanese War. In the next year, the Imperial Guards from Japan landed Taiwan from Cape San Diego, trying to take over Taiwan with military force; Taipei Volunteer Army rose to resist them. Some monks in Guandu Temple joined in the combat against Japan because of the long term friendship between Guandu Temple and the government. Japanese Army then retaliated by spilling coal oil to burn down Guandu Temple on 23rd, Jan. As a result, half of the hundred-year-old historic site was destroyed. One of the villagers in Bali surnamed Gao rushed in to save the statues of Mazu and Guanyin back and hid them at the foot of the stone carving in Guanyin Mountain that night. The statues did not return to Guandu until the incident was appeased.