Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Van Stadens Pass and Bridges

As the Dutch boeren trekked ever eastwards in order to escape from authority, they encountered an enemy of a different kind: a series of rivers in steep defiles. The one solution was to bypass them by traversing the Langkloof route. The final challenges were the Gamtoos and Van Stadens Rivers.  The Gamtoos was the easier foe as it could be crossed by making a turn to the north. The Van Staden river was a foe of superior mein

Van Stadens Pass is a passage through the gorge of the Van Stadens River

Main picture: Crossing the drift in 1870

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: White’s Road

Like all the major roads up from the centre of town to the top of the hill, these roads were originally kloofs with streams and steep cliffs. So it was with White’s Road. The original steep embankments on either side precluded the construction of buildings except for the Opera House.

This is the story of this significant road in Port Elizabeth’s history.

Main Picture: This is the earliest extant photograph that I can find of White’s Road. It shows the devastation after the torrential rains of 20th & 21st November 1867.  Continue reading