Die laat-Victoriaanse Mosselbaai 1870-1902

Scheffler, Helena Maria (1990-03)

Thesis (PhD) -- Stellenbosch University, 1990.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The development of Mossel Bay was subject to the opening of passes accross the two mountain ranges between the coast and the interior of the country. As the harbour gradually became more accessible to its hinterland, the Karoo, imports and exports increased. The granting of municipal status in 1852 precipitated a period of growth and by 1871, the town even had its own newspaper. Until the mid eighties, Mossel Bay was an arid town with little vegetation and scarcely enough water for domestic use. The serious shortage of water hindered the inhabitants in almost every way. With the completion of a water scheme in 1886 whereby water was received from the Outeniqua mountains, not only was the town embellished by the planting of trees but the drains could be cleaned and the fires successfully extinguished. The Town Council had to deal with squatters, roaming dogs and other stray animals. The general hygienic conditions left much to be desired. The drains were dirty, sanitation poor, dumping sites unfavourably situated and until 1891, animals were slaughtered in town. Typhus and Bubonic Plague broke out in the late nineties. The town had its own doctor and pharmacist, while a dentist made sporadic visits. A Cottage Hospital was established. The crime rate was low and the judge of the Circuit Court often had no criminal cases to hear. Commercially a market was established and an unusually high number of wholesalers began trading in the bay. Three large hotels accommodated the many visitors. Travelling ph.o tographers visited regularly and at one stage Mossel Bay even had its own resident photographer. The Mossel Bay Advertiser made an important contribution in influencing public opinion and in participating in the struggle for obtaining a rail link. This struggle was the major issue of the time. The link was frequently promised but it was only the last assurance in 1895 that was ultimately honoured. Major development took place in Shipping: Steam cranes and steam tugs were acquired and large oceanliners called, first fortnightly and then weekly. In so doing, regular contact was established with England. However the Coode Report found that the bay was becoming shallower and for this reason harbour development was rejected. Immense dissatisfaction prevailed after steam ships began calling in on Sundays, thereby forcing the inhabitants to work on the Sabbath. With the completion of the railway lines linking Port Elizabeth and Cape Town to the diamond fields, these ports gradually took over the trade generated by the Karoo. The services of the steamship companies were curtailed in the nineties resulting in diminished trade. At the end of the decade, it was announced that the harbour would receive a new breakwater and wharf. The number of shipwrecks were relatively small in comparison with other places. After the completion of the Kleinbosch Water Scheme in 1886, the town was marketed as a watering place and health resort. Many holiday makers flocked to the bay to swim in the natural bathing place at the Point. Farmers from the interior began to camp near the beach at Diepkloof. After the introduction of a halfday holiday on Saturdays, sporting activities became popular and sports clubs were established. Societies enabled participants to spend their leisure time in a constructive manner. The contribution of the church was large. A few ministers held their posts for lengthy periods and left their stamp on the community. Education was characterised by the struggle between the state supported schools and those run by the church. Although small, the schools produced outstanding students.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Mosselbaai was aanvanklik moeilik van sy natuurlike hinterland, die Karoo, bereikbaar aangesien dit deur twee bergreekse van die binneland geskei word. Met die oopstelling van passe het die hawe algaande meer toeganklik geword en het die nedersetting, soos die in- en uitvoer toegeneem het, gegroei. Die Munisipaliteit is in 1852 gestig en daarna het die dorp in so 'n mate ontwikkel dat dit in 1871 'n koerant gehad het. Mosselbaai was tot in die middel tagtigerjare 'n droe, boomlose dorpie met skaars genoeg water vir huishoudelike gebruik. Die ernstige gebrek aan water het stremmend op bykans elke gebied ingewerk. Nadat water in 1886 van die Outeniekwaberge aangel~ is, kon die dorp nie slags verfraai word nie, maar kon afvoerslote gewas en brande met sukses geblus word. Die Dorpsraad het te kampe gehad met plakkers, loslopende diere. Die algemene higiene het veel rondloperhonde en ander te wense gelaat. Die afvoerslote was vuil, sanit~re geriewe swak, stortingsterreine ongunstig gelee en daar is tot in 1891 midde-in die dorp geslag. Tifus en builepes het in die negentigerjare uitgebreek. Die dorp het oor 'n geneesheer en apteker beskik en tandartse het sporadies op besoek gekom. 'n ·"cottage Hospital" is gestig. Die misdaadsyfer was laag en die regter van die Rondgaande Hof het dikwels geen strafsake gehad om te verhoor nie. Op sakegebied was daar 'n mark, 'n ongewoon hoe aantal groothandelaars en verskeie ander sakeondernemings. Drie groot hotelle het huisvesting aan besoekers verskaf. Reisende fotograwe het die dorp gereeld besoek en 'n dekade lank was daar ook 'n residensiele fotograaf. Die Mossel Bay Advertiser het 'n belangrike bydrae gelewer deur die openbare mening te be1nvloed. Die blad het eweneens 'n groot rol gespeel van die stryd om spoorverbinding, wat die grootste deel van Victoriaanse Tydperk gekenmerk het. Alhoewel 'n spoorlyn meermale is dit eers in 1895 toegestaan. ten opsigte die Laatbeloof is, Op maritieme gebied was daar groot ontwikkeling: stoomhyskrane en · -sleepbote is bekom en groot oseaanskepe het Mosselbaai tweeweekliks en later weekliks aangedoen en sodoende gereelde verbinding met Engeland bewerkstellig. Die Coode-verslag het egter bevind dat die baai besig was om vlakker te word en haweontwikkeling is afgekeur. Stoomskepe het op Sondae begin aandoen en het sodoende Sondagwerk op die inwoners afgedwing. Nadat die spoorweg tussen die Diamantveld en die hawestede Kaapstad en Port Elizabeth voltooi is, is Mosselbaai stadig as hawe vir die Groot Karoo verdring. In die negentigerjare is die diens van die stoomskiprederye ingekort, wat 'n geweldige slag vir die handel was. Aan die einde van die dekade is aangekondig dat die hawe 'n golfbreker en nuwe kaai sou kry. Alhoewel verskeie skepe deur die jare vergaan het , was dit min in vergelyking met die skipbreuke elders. Na die voltooiing van die Kleinbosch-waterskema in 1886 is die dorp as badplaas en gesondheidsoord bemark en het groot getalle vakansiegangers na die Baai gestroom om veral in die natuurlike swemsloep by die Punt te baai. Boere van die binneland het ook naby die strand by Diepkloof begin kampeer. Na die installing van 'n halfdagvakansie op Saterdae het sport groot aftrek geniet en is verskillende klubs gestig. Inwoners het ook by verskillende verenigings aangesluit om hul vryetyd op 'n opbouende wyse te verwyl. Op kerklike gebied het 'n paar leraars besonder lank op Mosselbaai gearbei en het veel tot die ontwikkeling van die gemeenskap bygedra. Die onderwys is gekenmerk deur 'n stryd tussen die staatsondersteunde skole en die van die kerke. Alhoewel klein, het die plaaslike skole goeie uitslae behaal en uitstekende studente opgelewer.

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