A timeline of Mossel Bay`s History continued ...

1785   The Dutch East India Company established a ‘Buitepost’ (outpost), in Mossel Bay. The Garison consisted of an officer and six soldiers and they were tasked to prevent the French from claiming the land. In 1772 Struensee, the liberal first minister of Denmark was overthrown in a coup d’etat and executed. His private secretary, Hans Abue (the officer), fled to Holland and reached the Cape in the service of the Company. He served as Ensign and then Postholder at Mossel Bay for 33 years, dying in 1819 aged 78.

1786   The Granery erected. 

1811    Mossel Bay fell under the jurisdiction of George. Formerly the area fell under Swellendam.

1818    Due to the development of the growing community, now well established commercial shipping activities took off.

1820    The land surveyed in 1818 and plots were set out.  Mr CW Pohl bought stands 1, 2, 3 set out along Church Street.  He built a house on 1, and a single-story shop on  Plot 3, facing Bland Street.  The shop became double-story in 1824 and later sold to Acker, then to Prince, Collins & Co and enlarged again.  

With the first buildings built in Church Street, the English settlers began arriving.

1844   First record of a Market  revenue.  Mr H O Acker appointed as First Postmaster.

1843   The first rubble quay in Varkensbaai erected by Harris on permission granted .

  1. Daniel Bland built a stone quay in Pigs Bay at his own cost. Long enough take one vessel, later extended to measure 47m. 1860, Cape authorities take over Blands jetty  

1845   First NG Kerk Built.  First School Lessons given in the Vestry ‘konsistorie’  in 1847

1848   Mossel Bay was declared a town and magistrate’s district.

1851   Horse Racing Track on farm Boplaas – apparently of the first, if not first in SA.

1852   Mossel Bay declared a Municipality on 12 July. To be known as Aliwal (Mossel Bay).

The Municipality would consist of the village, the Point, and the public gracing, bordered by the sea, the farms Sevenfontein (Voorbaai) and Droogefontein.

1855/6  Anglican Church School Chapel built.   

1858   1st Municipal Building, known as Market House, built.  A plot of 223 sqm was awarded To Messrs. Gustav Buschick, Joseph Vintcent, D du Plessis and Daniel du Plessis Bland, for the erection of a building to serve as a venue for municipal meetings, a library and a reading room. Fully funded by the shareholders.

At this time this little town nestled on the warm Northern slope of the Cape St Blaize peninsula, waiting for the trading boom that was to occupy the next two decades.”

1860   State takes over Blands quay

1861   First Police Station – at the time there was no formal prison, prisoners were locked up in a small room in the customs house. During the day they repaired roads or carried out other public services.

1862   Pilkingtons Jetty erected.  This 122m long jetty started in Bland street.  This First public works project was funded by public subscription.  Completion festivities  celebrated by all residents.  

1864   St Blaize Lighthouse completed in March when the fixed light was installed.  

1867   Diamonds were discovered in Hope Town. Much of the hardware that was imported from Britain and Germany, was shipped through Mossel Bay harbour en route to diamond fields. The harbour was considered to be closer to Kimberley than Cape Town.

1869   Robinson Pass opened, allowing easier access to the Karoo.

1871   1st Edition of the Mossel Bay Advertiser published

1872   The first public school opened as the Non-denominational Public School later known as Jongenskool

1874   Queens Warehouse built and housed the Customs offices.

1879   Second Municipal Building erected.

1880   Sept. The vessel Trojan of the Union Lines called, town residents could for 1st time see the magic of ‘electric light’

1880   First Post Office was in Powrie’s Chemist Shop. The first Telegraph service started around the same time.

1881   Kleinbosch Water Scheme commenced. Up until then the town relied on two boreholes and a stream which were quite inadequate for the growing community. Droughts and water shortages were common and earlier pictures depict people queuing for water.

Until 1885 when 26 miles of pipes were laid but there was no adequate reservoir.

1883   December, Name changed to Mossel Bay (without Aliwal) by the Commissioners of the Town.

1864   St Blaize Lighthouse completed

1886   Schermbrucker Reservoir was commissioned.

1887   Victoria Park laid out in honour of Queen Victoria.  Later renamed Harry Giddey Park

1892   First public clock was installed in the Klipkerk on 12 November.

1894   The Herbert Baker designed Town Library built. In July 1888 there were 3771 books and 51 members in the old library housed in the 1st Municipal building. Our earlier city fathers were keen readers. The service was paid for by subscription and twice a year, books were ordered from England. Up to 1870 only English books were available. The librarians were the recorders and custodians of Mossel Bay social records, and artefacts.

1890’s Residents considered themselves to be the most burdened under taxes and debt – this in relation to its size and valuations of properties.

1895   Harbour wall was build

1897   Mossel Bay Boating Co founded. The company managed the harbour.

1903   Mossel Bay received a telephone service. This service only became automatic in 1971.  Mossel Bay had telephones before it had electricity .

1906   Rail line extended from Worcester to Mossel Bay by Cape Central . First train reached Voorbaai on 22 January.

1910   The Coronation Hall (Town Hall) and Rink Hall (Recreation & Markets) built in honour of Coronation of King George V.

1912   The Hospital built.  Funded by public contribution and treatment charges, matched £ for £ by Cape Government.

1916   Santos Pavilion was built. It was a popular venue for social events. Visiting Royalty and travellers were treated there often.

1920   First Register of buildings opened by Municipality

1920   First Prison built

1922   Power Station Built above Santos Beach.  Electricity arrived

1925   The Poort Tea Room and changing rooms were constructed.

1927   New Magistrate’s Court

1928   Rail Bridge over Gouritz River completed

1954   Tarka and New Sunnyside, at the request of the Coloured community, declared coloured housing areas.

1959   Provincial Hospital in Linkside was opened

1960   1 May – Oil discharge terminal in sea commissioned. Enabling Tanker to discharge oil and gas at said terminals, connected to the Tank Farm originally located at the Point.

1962   The Post Office Tree declared a National Monument.

1963   ‘Shoe’ Post Box at the Post Office Tree erected.

1969   Padrao (Vasco da Gama replica) erected above Munro’s Bay.

1987   Mossel Bay Gas to Liquid (GTL) Refinery project initiated.

1988   500 Year celebration of the landing of Dias on 3 February 1488.  Re-inactment of voyage from Lisbon to Mossel Bay, in a commissioned replica Caravel. 

1989   GTL Plant Refinery construction commences in Mossel Bay.  Major influx of skilled personnel and migrant workers (PetroSA).

1989   3 Feb – Official opening of Dias Museum, houses the Caravel.

1992   Mossel Bay Gass to Liquid Refinery Commissioned. At the time the largest GTL Refinery in the world. Presently the third largest.

The establishment of the GTL plant brought about substantial growth in economic development, population, and especially influx of informal settlers.

2019   Brull Padda off-shore field; owners Total & partners, announces major gas finds.

Compiled by Mrs. Carina Wiggle 

Our sincere gratitude for the tremendous contribution that she is making towards the conservation of Mossel Bay`s history and historic buildings.

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