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

Like modern day motorists, the waggoneers 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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Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Inter-Town Roads of the Mid 1800s – Part 1

As a result of the poor state of the country roads, a trip by ox wagon to Graham’s Town – a distance of only 160 kms – would take eight days. The term road was a euphemism for a track through the bush, which through perpetual usage, had created a passage conforming to the contours, angle and levelness of the ground. No attempt had been made to remove boulders on the route or fill in depressions. Instead the road would skirt around such obstacles. 

What roads were there and what was being done to address this issue? 

Main picture:  Typical condition of the rural main roads in the 1860s

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