Postcards from 100 years ago



Cape Town

Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town was originally developed by the Dutch East India Company as a victualling (supply) station for Dutch ships sailing to East Africa, India, and the Far East. Jan van Riebeeck's arrival on 6 April 1652 established the first permanent European settlement in South Africa. Cape Town quickly outgrew its original purpose as the first European outpost at the Castle of Good Hope, becoming the economic and cultural hub of the Cape Colony. Until the Witwatersrand Gold Rush and the development of Johannesburg, Cape Town was the largest city in South Africa.  

Britain captured Cape Town in 1795, but the Cape was returned to the Netherlands by treaty in 1803. British forces occupied the Cape again in 1806 following the battle of Bloubergstrand. In the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814, Cape Town was permanently ceded to Britain. It became the capital of the newly formed Cape Colony, whose territory expanded very substantially through the 1800s. With expansion, came calls for greater independence from Britain, with the Cape attaining its own parliament in 1854, and a locally accountable Prime Minister in 1872. 

Cape Town was also known as “The Cape of Good Hope” as well as “The Cape of Storms”

429 Cape Town Harbour



  • Adderley Street
    Adderley Street was originally named Heerengracht, after the canal which ran down its centre. For many years it was a residential street, lined with large oak trees, but by 1850 it had become strongly commercial in character. Mayor Hercules Jarvis named it Adderley Street in 1850, to honour British Parliamentarian Charles Bowyer Adderley (elevated to the peerage as Baron Norton in 1878) who fought successfully against the plan for the British government to make Cape Town into another penal colony.
  • The City
    Around Cape Town central andTable Mountain
  • Other streets in Cape Town
    Darling Street * Roeland Street * St Georges Street * Riebeek Square * Strand Street
  • The Harbour
  • Sea Point
    Sea Point got its name in 1776 when one of the commanders serving under Capt Cook, Sam Wallis, encamped his men in the area to avoid a smallpox epidemic in Cape Town at the time
  • Camps Bay and Kloof Neck
    The area between mountain and sea was granted to John Lodewyk Wernich and passed from father to son. Johan Wernich married Anna Koekemoer who on his death in 1778 married Fredrick Ernst von Kamptz, a sailor, and the area became known as “Die Baai van von Kamptz”.
  • Suburban Cape Town
    * Wynberg, named after the farm- 'De Oude Wijnbergh; * Muizenberg, formerly Muysenbergh and Muys Zijn Bergh named after Sergeant Muys. * Kalk Bay, where the supplies from Cape Town stopped and had the be shipped onwards to Simon's Town

440 Mail ship leaving port



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