Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Museum and Snake Park

The precursor to the establishment of the museum, was the founding in April 1856 of the Athenaeum Society whose purpose was “to promote the interests of science and literature.” The journey from this humble beginning to its present home at Bayworld, Humewood, is indicative of a society’s striving for knowledge and a sense of wonderment. 

Main picture: Museum in the Wool Market

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Athenaeum

The 1850s can be categorised as a defining period in the early history of Port Elizabeth. Now that the focus of the inhabitants was no longer survival whether eking out a living or building their homes, Port Elizabeth was in the throes of stirrings of civic pride, and the desire and need for cultural and sporting activities. Foremost amongst cultural activities, was the need for a society to promote science and literature. To this end, the Athenaeum Society was founded. 

Main picture: Athenaeum Institute shortly after its erection in 1896  Continue reading