Baoshan earns its name because of its hill. (In Chinese, “Shan” refers to mountain or hill.) In 1412 (Ming Dynasty), a man-made hill, serving as navigation sign, was piled up on the seashore for shipping traffic at the Changjiang estuary. Emperor Yongle named it “Baoshan”. Though it collapsed in 1582 (Ming Dynasty) and was inundated, its name “Baoshan” continued to be used till today.
The district of Baoshan was originally subordinate to Jiangsu Province. It’s parted from Jiading County in 1742 (Qing Dynasty), called Baoshan County. At the outset of its construction, the north and east of Baoshan County was close to the Changjiang River, and south to today’s Tianmu Road, Zhabei District. It’s bounded on the west by Jiejing and Yangjing in Jiading County, and the southwest by the district of Zhenru. Besides, the southeast of the county extended to the Gaoqiao area, east of the Huangpu River. All together, it adds up to 38 kilometers from east to west, and 41.5 kilometers from north to south. The area amounts 419 square kilometers.
In 1928, seven cities or villages as Zhabei, Jiangwan, Yinhang, Wusong, Pengpu, Zhenru, and Gaoqiao were incorporated into the special cities of Shanghai. Therefore, the area of Baoshan reduced a half. During the war of Resistance Against Japan after 1937, the County of Baoshan was put under the administration of City Shanghai, thus, the north of Greek Wenzhao was called Baoshan District, the south were incorporated respectively into the Central District and South Shanghai District, while Changxing Island belonged to the North Pudong District.
However, after the war, the whole area was put again under the administration of Jiangsu Province, except Dachang, which had been incorporated into the City of Shanghai. The area was about 200 square kilometers.
After the Liberation, Baoshan initially belonged to Sunan Administrative Areas. Later, it was under the direct control of Jiangsu Province. In the Year 1958, the whole area was put under Shanghai’s administration. Hengsha Island and the North suburb were also incorporated. Therefore, the east of Baoshan extended to the east coast of Hengsha Island, and the south to Guangzhong Road, West Dalian Road, and Zouma Pond. Besides, Jiangwan, Yinhang, Wusong, and Dachang, which had been partitioned off, were incorporated into Baoshan again. The area of Baoshan, thus, expanded to 443.64 square kilometers. In the year 1960, Wusong Town, and the north of Greek Wenzhao containing both sides of Changjiang Road were parted from Baoshan to found the district of Wusong. Then in 1964, Wusong District was incorporated into Yangpu District. However, after 1980, to meet the need of the construction of BaoSteel, Wusong District was set up again based on the Baoshan Agency of the People’s Government of Shanghai. Chengxiang Town, as well as some parts of Wusong, Songnan, Miaohang, Yuepu, and Shengqiao was also incorporated into the district of Wusong.
In January 1988, with the approval of the State Council, the organizational system of Baoshan Town and Wusong District was rescinded. Baoshan District was formally set up. The CPC commission of Baoshan District was organized in June. And the whole work was finished in September.