Shi Kefa (Shih K o-fa) was a high ranking general (equivalent to the head of the Ministry of War) in 1645 A.D, the later Ming Dynasty, when the City of Yangzhou was besieged by Manchu forces. He refused to surrender and led the armed resistance against the enemy. Eventually the city fell to the invaders and Shi was killed in the battle at the age of 45. His body was never recovered, resulting in claims that the general still lived which later led to an anti-Manchu rebellion. The year after he died, his adopted son, General Shi Dewei, buried his used clothing and hats at the hillside of the Meihua Hill (Plum Hill), which is the location of the current memorial hall and his tomb.
In addition to being a general, Shi was also a calligrapher in his time. He passed the Jinshih examination in 1628. After he died, he was given a posthumous title and some of his writings were published in 1776 (about 130 years after his death). In 1984, his biography and edited writings were published in Shanghai.
The memorial hall is also a place for collections of historic items unearthed in Yangzhou area, including many works from the so-called Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou.