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Willowmore and Steytlerville Monuments

Willowmore and Steytlerville Monuments

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Description

Both Willowmore and Steytlerville have a number of historic buildings, churches and monuments in addition to the main listings from the town on this website.

These main listings can be found on the following links:
Steytlerville to Willowmore cement road
Steytlerville Open Air Museum and Family Crests
Lady De Waal Bridge
The Valley of Flags
Die Wonderboom
The Old Blackstone Power Station
Steytlerville Pegasus Early Motoring Museum

Other interesting places include:

Steytlerville Dutch Reformed Church
In 1875 a farm with the name Doorspoort was purchased by the Dutch Reformed Church to provide spiritual guidance to the farmers in the area. The town was established a year later.  The town was named after Reverend Abraham Isaac Steytler, who was a minister of the church around 1909. The original Dutch Reformed Church in Steytlerville was built in 1876 and started with 300 members. The building was later replaced with a large neo-Gothic style church on the site of the original town square. The Dutch Reformed Church is the record-holding biggest Edwardian-style church in Southern Africa, seating 1200 members. The church was inaugurated in 1907 and features an organ consisting of 1046 pipes.

St Paul’s Anglican Church, Steytlerville
The site for St Paul’s Anglican Church was given by W Buckley, a builder in Steytlerville and consecrated by Bishop Charles Cornish on 4th July 1900.

Steytlerville Methodist Church
The Methodist Church, built in 1886, took five years to complete. It was built following a dispute between one of the town’s founding fathers, John Hayward, and Rev Charles Murray Regarding the Christening of Hayward’s son. The Dutch Reformed Church reverend refuse to christen Hayward’s eldest son without interviewing his mother, who had stayed at home with a baby since it was too cold to go out. Hayward stormed out saying “In that case I will build my own church”.

Steytlerville War Memorial
The Steytlerville War Memorial stands in the middle of the road on the corner of Middelton and Piet Retief Streets. The monument was built in 1925 and pays homage to the Steytlervillers who died in the First World War between 1914 and 1918. The names of those who perished in the Second World War were added to the monument and altogether eleven Steylervillers are inscribed on the memorial, having paid the supreme sacrifice in the service of their country. The names are CR Buckley, J Erasmus, N Gaisford, J Kunneke, A Pettit, J Ring, J de Wit, PF Ferreira, H Hooper, JY Nash and P Renison.

Heroes Monument – Steytlerville
The Heroes Monument honours those who died fighting for freedom during the apartheid years. Among those honoured are Mzwandile Veneress “Shakes” Miggels; Johannes “Pappie” Witbooi; “Thami” Khasibe.

Willowmore Town Hall
Willowmore’s iconic town hall stands in Knysna Street and has a very unique-looking clock tower. The building was built around 1896 and is the centre point of the Willowmore community. It has been used for film shows, amateur theatrical productions, soirées, wedding receptions and funerals.

The Old Jail – Willowmore
The Old Jail was constructed from local stone and the walls are half a metre thick, and was completed in 1880. The outside corners, windows and doors are decorated with plaster quoins. The Old Gaol, as it was then called, consisted of a hospital cell, hard labour cells, awaiting trial cells, a female cell and a kitchen cell. It was decommissioned as a prison around 1950, was abandoned for more than a decade, and then converted into a luxury guesthouse by its current owners.

Jewish Synagogue
At one stage Willowmore had a thriving Jewish community and so a synagogue was erected. The building is no longer in use, but can still be viewed from the outside. The erf was purchased for the building of a synagogue in 1906 and the foundation stone was laid on 8 April 1907. The Jewish community applied for a loan for the building in 1908 and by 1917 the Willowmore Hebrew congregation had 30 members.

The Old Dutch Reformed Parsonage
The Dutch Reformed congregation was established in Willowmore in 1864. Before the construction of the church a spacious parsonage was designed and built by the renowned architect Carl Otto Hager from Stellenbosch. The parsonage was built for the first minister, Reverend P N Ham who arrived on the ship Brasilië from Holland. Reverend Ham stayed for two years and was replaced by Reverend George Murray, brother of the famous missionary Andrew Murray.
Originally it was a single-story dwelling. With the need for school classrooms for the growing community and other social functions, it soon became too small. As a result, a second floor was added in 1897 together with all the usual Victorian-era embellishments to the architectural designs typical of the time. The building was later used as a girls’ hostel for the local school and later as a store for agricultural products.
Today it is an elegant guesthouse with Victorian architectural adornments, a yellowwood top-story floor and the other Oregon pine woodwork well preserved.

Historical graveyards – Willowmore
This old Boer graveyard has interesting graves dating back to the Anglo-Boer War. Most graves stones were recently restored to their former glory and the old-fashioned marble headstones are a must-see.
The Historical Graveyard is not only part of Willowmore’s early history but also houses the graves of residents who died due to two noble historic incidents – the Anglo – Boer war (1899 – 1902) and the Great Flu Epidemic of 1918.

Die Rooi Bruggie – Willowmore
The iconic “Rooi Bruggie” was erected as a pedestrian bridge over the Noodsloot and was used by pedestrians when the river was in flood. The road did not have a bridge and was a drift/ford at the time.

 

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  • Steytlerville and Willowmore