When the railway line from the Karoo to Port Elizabeth was constructed in 1884, it had to pass through a very narrow pass between the Kikvorsberg and the Agter-Rhenosterberg mountains. The local Dutch-speaking community referred to this as “naauw poort” (the narrow pass). A village was established in 1894 in this strange little triangle of Karoo veld beneath these mountains, and it became known as Noupoort. In its day, Noupoort, one of the smallest districts of the Great Karoo, became a major sheep farming area and an important Railway junction. Trains, the lifeblood of the village, clanked, puffed and whistled throughout the day and night. Noupoort was a bustling little dorp. It was an important marshalling yard and a staging post for post coaches, but as rail traffic declined, so did the economy of the village and it sank back into a slumber.
© Rose’s Roundup, vol. 2, no. 52, January 2008.
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