History of Bucheon City
Most of the existing literature describes the history Bucheon City from the Goguryeo period onwards. Bupyeong, the traditional area, in which present Bucheon was included was recorded in the name of Jubuto (Chinese: 主夫吐) of Goguryeo in various historical books including “The Chronicles of the Three States.”
It was renamed as Jangje-gun (Chinese: 長堤郡) in the United Silla period, and the name of Bucheon seems to has been changed from Jangje-gun to Suju (Chinese: 樹州) when the Goryeo Dynasty changed the place names of the administrative districts (Ju, Bu, Gun, and Hyeon) in 940 (the 23rd year of the reign of King Taejo). In 1150 (the 4th year of the reign of King Uijoing), the name of Bucheon was changed from Suju to Annam Dohobu (Chinese: 安南都護府) and its status was raised to an Eup.
During the Goryeo period, the name of Bucheon had changed continuously also its status as an administrative district had been repeatedly moved up and down. In 1215 (the 2nd year of the reign of King Gojong), its name was changed from Annam Dohobu to Gyeyang Dohobu (Chinese: 桂陽都護府). In 1308 (the 34th year of the reign of King Chungnyeol), it was raised to Gilju-mok but it was degraded again to Bupyeong-bu in 1310 (the 2nd year of the reign of King Chungseon).
Since the opening of the port in 1883, a lot of foreigners and trading goods that entered the country through Incheon Harbor headed for Seoul, and changes began to sprout in the air of Bucheon located in the middle of the path. Especially, when the Gyeongin Railroad Line connecting Jemulpo and Noryangjin was opened in 1899, Sosa Station (current Bucheon Station) was established and it became the foundation of the present Bucheon. Sosa Station was established for the purpose of collecting the agricultural products for the vast Gimpo Plain and exporting them to Japan via Incheon Harbor. It was presumed that the Sosa Station was a wooden building with very limited space at the time of opening.
As Sosa Station was established, the residents of nearby villages moved to the station area to open the hospitality businesses and restaurants for the passengers, and the settlements in the form of street villages were created at the west side foot of Seongjusan-mountain. Then, when peach orchards were created by the Japanese around 1908 and workforce for cultivation became necessary, many nearby residents were moved to the area and villages came to develop rapidly.
Japan, after it merged Koring, abolished its concession and implemented Prefecture system at the same time in 1914, creating Incheon Prefecture by integrating the Japanese concession area and a part of Daso-myeon and reorganizing Bucheon-gun County by integrating the rest areas and Bupyeong-gun. At this time, the name Bucheon first appeared.
The newly established Bucheon-gun had 15 Myeons (subdivision of Eup) and 160 Ris (subdivision of Myeon) including a part of Incheon Prefecture, Bupyeong-gun, some islands belonging to Ganghwa-gun, Daebu-myeon of Namyang-gun, and some islands belonging to Yeongheung-myeon.
The Bucheon-gun County Office was located in Pangyo-ri of Munhak-meyon where the Incheon Prefecture Office was also located at that time. The area of Sosa Station belonged to Gyenam-myeon, which was renamed to Sosa-myeon in 1931 and raised to Sosa-eup in 1941. Of the 15 Myeons at that time, Gyenam-myeon, Ojeong-myeon and Sorae-myeon are belonging to the present Bucheon City area.
In the early 1960s, industrialization and urbanization rapidly took place in Republic of Korea with the implementation of the 5-year economic development plan, and the population of metropolitan cities such as Seoul and Busan rapidly expanded. As a result, the reorganization of administrative districts was carried out in a large scale in 1973. In particular, the jurisdiction adjustment was made in order to promote rational development of the metropolitan areas, to suppress the concentration of population and to prevent the disorderly expansion of urban areas. At this time, Bucheon-gun was abolished and Sosa-eup was promoted to Bucheon City.
As the housing site development projects were implemented in the Jungdong district as part of the new city development in the metropolitan areas in the 1990s, Bucheon was rapidly urbanized. The purposes of the housing site development project in the Jungdong district was to realize the 2 million housing construction plan of the government, to use the land resources in the efficient way, to reorganized the urban structure and remove the social complaints through large-scale housing site development and housing supply.
The project was in a large-scale one in the area of about 1.65 million pyeong covering 6 Dongs of Chunui-dong, Samjeong-dong, Simgok 3-dong, Sang-dong, Jung-dong and Songnae-dong of Bucheon City. The population brought into Bucheon City due to this project was originally planned to be 170,000. However, the population of the 6 Dongs above around 1995 reached about 260,000, accounting for more than 30% of the total population of Bucheon City at the time.