Information by Alan Jefferies from "The Absolute Border"

In 1847 British authorities decided to formally settle whites on the land by grant farms. The region was then ruled by King Hintsa and later his brother Sarhill.

One of these first settlers was the first white man to build a house in Kei Mouth - John Crouch (born 15 January 1821 - Died 29 May 1891 - aged 70). The structure would have been similar to those built by Xhosa people.


 

Until the regular use of motor vehicles in the 1920's horses were the only means of transportation. Even before the 20th century dawned various contingents of mounted soldiers manned the frontier fort at Kei Mouth. An existing record makes mention of soldiers belonging to the Cape Mounted Rifles station in Komga in 1889 practicing their riding skills on the beach at Kei Mouth.

In 1943 they started with a road, which had such an important influence for Kei Mouth, Komga and the Transkei - even though it was just gravel. At the beginning of the settlements drive there were no demarcated roads. King Williams Town, and then Komga were the administrative hubs of the area, and a fast developing East London the business centre. They started talking about the tarring of the Kei Mouth road about forty years ago - and the road was finally tarred in 2001.

The book by Alan Jefferies covers many other interesting historical facts, from diamond mining and a diamond rush and the story of John Bock (Book called - 'Diamonds are a man's worst enemy') tells the sad story of the wrongful convictions of a 70 year old man who was sent to a King Williams Town prison for 3 years and died a few months after his release.

The Trev Miller's Titanium Mine between Morgan Bay and Kei mouth, with a prospecting license being issued on the 24th April 1953. The mine was officially closed in 1970. The sea pump house still stands at Black Rock, the Country Club's water supply is stored in the mine dam and a one hundred thousand litre reservoir lays hidden high in the dunes above the old workshop, stores and offices. The laboratory, small plant and home overlooking the lagoon at Morgan Bay have been converted to provide accommodation and lecture facilities for employees of Nature Conservation today.

The tale of Nongqwawuse, the girl of Mhlakaza who killed a nation! Claiming she had a vision, she proclaimed that on 3rd January 1857 the Xhosa people were to slaughter all their cattle, feast on them, make beer and consume all their grains and on the given day Xhosa ancestors would rise from the ground together with great herds of healthy cattle and grain pits would be filled to capacity. Her vision was sadly wrong and this was the start of apathy, hopelessness and resignation as the Xhosa people realised how serious their situation was.

Nine hundred and thirty nine significant wrecks are recorded along our coastline, the majority being sailing vessels sunk or stranded during the days before metal hulls, gale force winds along the stormy coast were the main reasons for the sinking. Some of which are: 1593 - Santos Alberto / 1608 - Santo Ispiritu / 1622 - Sao Joao Baptita / 1878 - Sphodel / 1910 - Khedive / 1971 - Jacaranda. You can still trek over the pont into the Transkei as see the hull of the ship on the beach, or take an amazing horse ride across for the day.

To obtain a copy of this book please contact Alan Jefferies on (043) 841-1023