Port Elizabeth of Yore: Hotel in Cape Road, Newton Park

A hotel, now long forgotten, operated in Newton Park on Cape Road from 1861 until July 1902 when it was burnt down. No extant photographs of the hotel survived, nor can the exact location be determined. According to Margaret Harradine, it was probably situated on the spit of land on which Pelo’s Café and Wimpy’s restaurants currently operate. Notwithstanding that, Margery Lochhead claims that it was located near St. Hugh’s Church.  

Main picture: PE Hunt Club on Willowby Farm, now Glen Hurd,  owned by George Parkin

During March 1861, Mrs. Margaret McMullen was granted a license for a new hotel, the “Fair View Hotel“, on the Cape Road. William and Eliza Ingram took it over and operated it as the “Cape Road Hotel“. Apparently in 1873 it was either run by or belonged to a Mr. Reed. In the next year, Johannes Gates applied for a licence but in the subsequent year, Gates was in trouble with the authorities for not providing the promised quoits and skittles facilities. The farm Hartebeestefontein, on which the hotel was situated, belonged to the Parkin family and in 1875 the license for the hotel was applied for by Alfred Parkin. Whether in fact Parkin’s application was successful is unknown but as Margery Lochhear recalls Gates as being the operator for many years, presumably Parking was unsuccessful. From March 1882 Francis Dawson ran what was now listed as “Hunters’ Retreat” and in September 1886 the license was granted to Alexander Humphries, who owned the hotel for many years. In 1902 the Hotel was closed down due to lack of business arising from Martial Law imposed during the Boer War. Subsequently in July of that year, it was burnt down.

The Fairview Suburban Estate Co, developers of Newton Park, were unable sell any plots unless they were able to supply water. This they dis by building a reservoir, a thirty-foot square structure, on the highest point, behind the old hotel. After the installation of a windmill pump to bring water from the Baakens River, was completed on the 24th July 1903, the sale of the first batch of 100 plots could now commence.


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