Port Elizabeth of Yore: Target Kloof

Due to the Baakens River Valley, Port Elizabeth is effectively cleaved into two. Instead of having to take a circuitous route around, on 22 April 1896 it was decided at a Town Council meeting that the Divisional Council’s proposed plan to build a road through Target Kloof from Port Elizabeth to Walmer be approved. It was the creation of Walmer in 1853 which ultimately created the requirement of a direct road linking the two towns.

Main picture: Target Kloof marked New Road in this photo. Also note the footbridge on the left of the road, probably for when the river was high and people needed to cross. The hill in the background is where Wellington Park is today. Wellington Park is a small Municipal open space on the edge of the Baakens Valley at the corner of Main Rd and 5th Ave. It used to be two sports fields that were maintained voluntarily by the nearby primary school

Establishment of Walmer

In fact in 1896 Walmer was a separate town from Port Elizabeth. On 1st September 1853 part of the farm Welbedacht was sold in lots of one morgen by the Muller family. It was named Walmer after the seat of the late Duke of Wellington as Warden of the Cinque Ports. Originally granted to Johannes Potgieter, in 1915 Welbedacht became the property of Anthonie Michael Muller who was married to Potgieter’s daughter. The family homestead stood more or less where the library is today. A Village Management Board was appointed in 1881 and in April 1899 Walmer was incorporated as a Municipality with a Mayor & a Council. Finally in 1967 Walmer was incorporated into the Port Elizabeth Municipality.

Target Kloof#08

 

In terms of the 1896 resolution, the road had to be 60 feet wide, fenced and maintained by the Divisional Council. By November of that same year, the old road through the Mill Property was closed.  The Mill Property, by the way, is where Thomas Gubb who was the owner at the time, got permission to have Xhosa huts built in 1863.  Although he sold the land in 1867, the area was still known as Gubb’s Location and was later owned by the Mill Park Estate and Land Company.  The location was closed by the Plague Board in 1903.

Target Kloof#06

The derivation of the name “Target Kloof” is also of interest. Word has it that there used to be a shooting range on the Port Elizabeth side of the valley near the then Gubb’s Location and the locals started to refer to it as Target Kloof.

Target Kloof in 1906

Target Kloof in 1906

Target Kloof in 1906

Target Kloof in 1906#03

Target Kloof in 1906

Target Kloof in 1906

Target Kloof in 1906

Target Kloof#04

Under construction

Target Kloof under construction

Target Kloof under construction

Target Kloof 1907

Target Kloof 1907

 

Target Kloof shortly after completion of the New Walmer Road as it was called at the time

Target Kloof shortly after completion of the New Walmer Road as it was called at the time

Target Kloof known in those days as the New Walmer Road

Target Kloof known in those days as the New Walmer Road

Target Kloof#13

 

1947

Target Kloof in 1947 during the Royal Visit

Target Kloof in 1947 during the Royal Visit

Target Kloof#11 Target Kloof#12

An old aerial view of Target with the nascent Grey High School on the right

An old aerial view of Target with the nascent Grey High School on the right

Target Kloof#03

1968 Flood

Bottom of Target Kloof just before the bridge

Bottom of Target Kloof just before the bridge

And now

Target Kloof#10

The Forgotten Stairway linking Mill Park with Target Kloof below

The Forgotten Stairway linking Mill Park with Target Kloof below

Target Kloof-Recent

Map of Target Kloof

Map of Target Kloof

Sources:

Book: Port Elizabeth-A Social Chronicle to the end of 1945 by Margaret Harradine

Photos: Two recent photos by Jonker Fourie, other photos unknown

Related Articles:

Port Elizabeth of Yore: Russell Road

Port Elizabeth of Yore: Sand dunes, Inhabitants and Animals

Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Horse Memorial

The Parsonage House at Number 7 Castle Hill Port Elizabeth

What happened to the Shark River in Port Elizabeth?

A Pictorial History of the Campanile in Port Elizabeth

A Sunday Drive to Schoenmakerskop in 1922

 

The Three Eras of the Historic Port Elizabeth Harbour

The Historical Port Elizabeth Railway Station

The Great Flood in Port Elizabeth on 1st September 1968

The Friendly City – Port Elizabeth – My Home Town

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


8 Comments

    • Hi Linda, Thanks for the feedback. It is much appreciated. I am in the process of writing a whole bunch of blogs on PE, my home town. You can access them on the left panel under “Port Elizabeth of Yore”. I also have more personal memories under “Family Histories – McClelands”

      Reply
    • Thanks a million. I am in the process of writing a whole bunch of blogs on PE, my home town. You can access them on the left panel under “Port Elizabeth of Yore”. I also have more personal memories under “Family Histories – McClelands”

      Reply
  1. I have lived in Walmer since 1947! That is a long time ago!
    I remember sitting on the wall of my grandparents home called “Chesterton” at the PE side of Target Kloof to see the Royal Family pass by.

    Reply
    • Then I had better not ask you your age. I was wondering where the Royal Family stayed and how long they were in Port Elizabeth for?

      Reply
    • Hi Linsley, You have piqued my interest about the Royal visit to PE in 1947 but I have found it extremely difficult to obtain much of the basic information about their visit such as where they stayed et cetera.

      Reply

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