1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Cholon

CHOLON (“great market”), a town of French Indo-China, the largest commercial centre of Cochin China, 31/2 m. S.W. of Saigon, with which it is united by railway, steam-tramway and canal. Cholon was founded by Chinese immigrants about 1780, and is situated on the Chinese arroyo at the junction of the Lo-Gom and a canal. Its waterways are frequented by innumerable boats and lined in some places with native dwellings built on piles, in others by quays and houses of French construction. Its population is almost entirely Asiatic, and has more than trebled since 1880. In that year it had only 45,000 inhabitants; in 1907 it numbered about 138,000. Of these, 42,000 were Chinese, 73,000 Annamese, and 155 French (exclusive of a garrison of 92); the remainder consisted of Cambodians and Asiatic foreigners. During the rice season the town is visited by a floating population of 21,000 persons. The Chinese are divided into congregations according to their place of origin. Cholon is administered by a municipal council, composed of French, Annamese and Chinese traders. An administrator of native affairs, nominated by the governor, fills the office of mayor. There are a fine municipal hospital and municipal schools for boys and girls. The principal thoroughfares are lighted by electric light. The rice trade, almost monopolized by the Chinese, is the leading industry, the rice being treated in large steam mills. Tanning, dyeing, copper-founding, glass, brick and pottery manufacture, stone working, timber-sawing and junk building are also included among the industries.