Fongshan was formerly the name of a county. During the governance by Ching Dynasty, Wan Nien Chou under the jurisdiction of Cheng, Chen-Kung in Ming Dynasty was divided into Taiwan County and Fongshan County. This County was formerly known as Fongshan, initially under the jurisdiction of Hsing Long Chuang Pi-Tze-Tou (now Zouying). This District was known as Pi Tou then, and the administrative district was under jurisdiction of Da Chu Li, Fongshan County. Upon the outbreak of Lin Shuang-Wen Incident in 1786 (51st year of Chien Long Emperor of Ching Dynasty, the folks of the County responded to and joined the movement, and took Pi Tze Tou County. After the Incident was settled, Fongshan County jurisdiction was relocated to Pi Tou in 1788 (53rd year of Chien Long Emperor of Ching Dynasty), and Pi Tou formerly known in this District was replaced by Fonghsan accordingly. An old legend tells that a prophecy inside a stone in Fongshan, which exploded automatically one day, indicated that “The rocky Fongshan affords to accommodate millions of people and Minnan folks will reside locally after five hundred years”, as recorded in the History of Fongshan County. The Fukien Gazetteer also contains the relevant record, stating that, “Some farmers obtained a stone when cultivating the farm and a prophecy inside the stone indicated “The picturesque scenery resided by Minnan folks”.
Fongshan was named after a mountain known as Yuan Fong Mountain nearby Fong Pi Tou in Hasiokang Township. The mountain looks like a phoenix spreading its wings and hence the County is named. The District was named after the County's old name. Actually, there is no such mountain located inside the District. This District was known as Fongshan Street Village under jurisdiction of the Fongshan County Public Office of Kaohsiung State During Japanese Occupation. Upon the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the Japanese military force was based in Fongshan. On August 15, 1945,Japan surrendered unconditionally. According to the “Regulations Governing Organization of Township in Taiwan Province”, Fongshan Street Village was changed into Fongshan Township Office subject to jurisdiction of the Kaohsiung County Government, and also the county jurisdiction. In September, 1970, the population in this District amounted to 100 thousand people, and the various construction projects also met the requirements for a county-administered city. Accordingly, in March 1972, the District was reformed into a county-administered city upon approval of Ministry of Interior, and renamed as Fongshan City Office of Kaonshiung County officially as of July 1, 1972. On December 25, 2010, Kaohsiung City and County were consolidated, and the Office was renamed as Fongshan District Office of Kaohsiung City.