The military importance of sulfur in the manufacture of gunpowder meant that historically the Yangmingshan area often attracted the attention of illicit sulfur miners. For almost 200 years under the Qing dynasty, its sulfur deposits were sealed off and all mining was forbidden. Guards were posted, troops regularly fire to the deposits in February, May, August, and November each year, and any illicit sulfur mining was severely punished. Things started to change in the later 19th century when military commander Shen Pao-chen first requested a lifting of restrictions, and in 1887 Taiwan governor Liu Ming- chuan formally requested that sulfur mining be opened up under government control. A Sulfur Commission was set up to regulate sulfur mining, and the sulfur mining industry began to operate openly.
With this, Han Chinese activity spread from Shilin and Beitou along the Huang Stream to the Zhuzihu area of Mt. Datun. The area's sulfur vapors and poor soil made it unsuitable for rice farming, so the incoming Han Chinese tended to clear the vegetation by bum ing and plant tea bushes, turning the hillsides into tea plantations. Meanwhile the area's Ketagalan aboriginal inhabitants were assimilated by the Han Chinese and their culture gradually disappeared.