The Historical Karoo, by Chris Schoeman
Chris Schoeman's splendid book, The Historical Karoo, is ordered according to three main routes that people drive through the area. It provides short histories of the towns along the way, and points out the sites, buildings and other aspects of interest that can be found there.
The historical farm of Wagenaarskraal
Situated about thirty kilometres west of Three Sisters, has been owned by the MacRobert family since 1870. It is the only weather station in South Africa that has been run by one family for more than 100 years. In days gone by, it had a shop for the neighbourhood, which the MacRoberts ran from the latter decades of the nineteenth century until about 1960, a postal agency and a stagecoach post for coaches and post carts on the Wellington-Kimberley route (and later Nelspoort-Kimberley). The old post office and shop are still there, now a museum exhibiting documents and books of accounts dating back to the 1870s, as well as firearms from the Border, Anglo-Boer and World Wars used by the MacRobert family.' Wagenaarskraal played a key role in passenger and mail transport in the days when the railway from Cape Town only went as far as Wellington. Following the discovery of diamonds in 1867 and the establishment of a passenger and mail coach service between Wellington and Kimberley, Wagenaarskraal became an important halt on this route. The teams of coach horses were changed here, and passengers could stay overnight. Japie de Bruyn of the neighbouring farm, Abramskraal, was a skilled wagon builder and blacksmith who serviced the coaches and shoed the horses. The post office was established, and John MacRobert, the then owner of Wagenaarskraal, was its first postmaster. Later there was also a doctor, a tuberculosis expert called Dr Herron, who had come from Belfast. Several tuberculosis patients were housed in one of the farmhouses. One morning, the Wagenaarskraal mail coach arrived at Victoria West when it was hit by a flash flood in 1871. The driver, Johannes Hendrikus Brand Buyskes, carried many victims to safety in his coach. With the arrival of the railway line from Wellington via De Aar to Kimberley in 1890, the mail-coach service was discontinued, as passengers and mail could now be transported directly to Kimberleyr and the environs by train. As there was no longer a mail coach servicing Wagenaarskraal, a new postal service, the post cart, was created. Two of the original post-cart contracts are still in the possession of the MacRobert family one dating from 1917 and the other from 1923. According to these documents, the postal agent and contractor was William Mudie MacRobert of Wagenaarskraal. [...]
This is an excerpt from the book: The Historical Karoo, by Chris Schoeman.
Title: The Historical Karoo
Subtitle: Traces of the Past in South Africa's Arid Interior
Author: Chris Schoeman
Imprint: Zebra Press
Publisher: Randomhouse Struik
Cape Town, South Africa 2013
ISBN 9781770225688 / ISBN 978-1-77022-568-8
Hardcover, dustjacket, 18 x 24 cm, 224 pages, numerous b/w and colour photographs
Schoeman, Chris im Namibiana-Buchangebot
Enlivened with photographs and quotations from Churchill’s pen, this beautifully produced volume documents the travels of a key historical figure in South Africa.
Angels of Mercy tells true stories of compassion and courage of altruistic foreign women in the Anglo-Boer War.
The Historical Karoo is a must read, and entertainingly introduces to past times in South Africa's arid interior.
Brothers in Arms covers the full spectrum of the Hollanders’ roles as soldiers at the various battle fronts of the Anglo-Boer War.
Enthralling, poignant and richly informative, Boer Boy is a valuable addition to the history of the Anglo-Boer War.
The Karoo Cookbook is filled with delicious recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation.
Timeless Karoo ist ein bezaubernder Bildband, der die spröde Karoo ins rechte Licht rückt und ihre Schönheit und Geschichte ausführlich beschreibt.
'Shades' is a novel of huge integrity that represents a valuable contribution to a new direction in contemporary South African literature.
This wonderful book displays the rainforest area of the Garden Route and the semi-desert of the Little Karoo.