Port Elizabeth of Yore: Securing the Town’s Water Supply

The accepted norm when establishing a new town, is to locate it on a perennial water source. By non-adherence to this immutable law, the residents of the town were to suffer for 50 years. The first attempt to supply the residents of Port Elizabeth with water was not hugely successful. As the water was delivered by means of gravity feed from the Frames Reservoir on the Shark River, only the residents not residing on the hill could be serviced. Furthermore, the quality of the water was questionable. Far-sighted residents and officials agitated for a more reliable source of potable water. This is their story.

This blog has largely been based upon David Raymer’s excellent book entitled The Streams of Life: The Water Supply of Port Elizabeth and UItenhage.

Main picture: Weir on the Van Stadens River

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Port Elizabeth of Yore: Initial Impressions of Port Elizabeth on Arrival During the Early 1800s

During the first 50 years of its existence, Port Elizabeth did not impress the new arrival. It was dusty and treeless with a barren and bleak hillside being rather uninviting and unwelcoming. Unfailingly these arrivees to Port Elizabeth would describe the town in rather negative insalubrious terms. It was only with the planting of trees on the Hill and St. George’s Park that the town discarded its inhospitable mien. Interestingly after finally leaving the town, they were extremely complimentary of the town and its people especially praising its enterprising zeal.

 A number of such recollections have been gathered into this blog.

 Main picture: The Landing Area 

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