Port Elizabeth of Yore: The History of the Van Stadens Area

The river was named after Marthinus van Staden, one of the area’s pioneering farmers. He was also among the first to plot a rudimentary track through the valley. It is through the steep, winding gorge for which this River is renowned.  

The Van Stadens River rises in the Elandsberge and cuts through the Van Stadens Berg. Just east of the river on the N2 one may see rounded, marine gravels, dating back 30 million years BP, resting on Table Mountain quartzite.

Main picture: The Witteklip Rock which served as a scratching post for elephants and later used for a more mundane purpose as an outspan for wary travellers

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: Outspans and Road Inns on the Inter-Town Roads of later 1800s

Like modern day motorists, the waggoners of yore also required a place to rest, eat and refresh themselves except that their “facilities” were vastly more primitive than today’s Ultra City. 

What facilities, if any,  were provided and where were the outspans and road inns situated?

Main picture:  Outspan House built by JJ Berry in 1862 as an Inn for travellers. It was situated about a mile from the Rawson Bridge, halfway between Zwartkops and Deal Party Estate

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