Die stoommeule en bierbrouery op die terrein van Fort Drury, Bloemfontein, 1868-1920

  • SM Botes


The Fort Drury research project began in April 1998 when two of Bloemfontein's 70-year old landmarks, namely Fort Drury Mansions and King's Court, were demolished in favour of four new office buildings. The National Monuments Council gave permission for the two apartment buildings to be demolished on the condition that an archaeologist was appointed to search for any remains of the city's first fort, Fort Drury, which was built on the site in 1846. The archaeologist concerned asked the author to undertake the historical research of the site and its buildings. Although no trace of the structural remains of the stone and clay fort on the top of the hill was found during the archaeological excavations, the archival research brought some interesting and mainly unknown facts to light. At the start of the research project, only the existence of the fort on top of the hill above the fountain was known. Research would show that two other important structures - Bloemfontein's first steam mill and later on a brewery - stood on the same site, but behind the hillock and nearer the fountain. Until now, very little was known about these structures. However, this article sheds some light on the history of the steam mill and brewery on the Fort Drury site. The steam mill was erected in 1868. It worked with water from the fountain and served as a flour mill, saw mill, turning lathe and wool press until a few years before the Anglo Boer War. In c 1896 the mill was turned into a brewery where beer was brewed until 1920.

SA Journal of Cultural History Vol.15(2) 2001: 1-20

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1011-3053