Joseph Rock chose to live outside the town of Lijiang. Presumably he wanted solitude in order to devote himself to his botanical efforts and scholarship. What an amazing setting, beneath the great Jade Dragon Mountain! I presume he lived in a fairly modest courtyard house in the Naxi style. The building pictured here looks a little more rustic and presumably belongs to a farming family - the walls are made of packed earth (as they still are in many Naxi villages. It bears little resemblance the the stone- walled courtyard house that is now touted as his former residence.
As you can see, building styles hadn't changed much when I first visited the area in 1990: