Nelspoort

Drought and floods: 1877-1879

The year 1877 was a traumatic one for the Molteno and Jackson families who farmed at Nelspoort, north of Beaufort West. In The Jacksons of Nelspoort, Dr A O Jackson records that a drought which started two years before had taken severe toll of the stock.  “He writes that two-thirds of the small stock and many […]

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Drought: Gustav Lund’s experiences in the 1920s

Drought is a constant threat in the Karoo. Nelspoort farmer Pieter Lund has monitored the recurring droughts of the Great Karoo. Intrigued by the many tales of hardship during drought conditions that have now and then appeared in Round-up, he decided to share a series of stories.  “In the 1920s, my late father, Gustav Lund, […]

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John Molteno’s pioneering farm: 1841

John Charles Molteno was a dynamic man. He first saw the Karoo as a fatherless lad of 17. By 23 he had founded Molteno and Company, a firm dealing specifically in the sale of wine, wool, meat and aloes. When the bottom dropped out of the wine market, he sold his business and warehouses to […]

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Small-scale tilling, Beaufort West 1895

When Robert Wallace visited Beaufort West in 1895, he found it an interesting area from an agricultural point of view. In Farming Industries of the Cape Colony, he writes: “The plains below the mountain have aromatic Karoo bushes suitable for grazing by sheep and goats, while on the top of the mountains, actually a new […]

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The TB sanatorium at Nelspoort

John Garlick’s dream sanatorium at Nelspoort, north of Beaufort West, did not materialize as rapidly as expected.  Many people had hoped that the steady flow of chest sufferers from Europe to the Karoo in search of a cure, would filter to this central point, but as a Mr Duminy pointed out at a conference on […]

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Tracking hares in the Karoo

William Burchell mentioned that the Karoo “plains abounded with hares.” This observation was made at Dwaalpoort, near the Sak River, 35km east of Fraserburg, on August 30, 1811. Generally, however, few people mention these creatures, states CJ Skead in Historical Mammal Incidence in the Cape Province, yet they must have been plentiful on the dry […]

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