n South African Journal of Cultural History - Die stoommeule en bierbrouery op die terrein van Fort Drury, Bloemfontein, 1868 - 1920




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.

Die Fort Drury-navorsingsprojek het in April 1998 begin toe Fort Drury Mansions en King's Court, twee 70 jaar oue stadsbakens in Bloemfontein, gesloop is om vir vier moderne kantoorblokke plek te maak. Die Raad vir Nasionale Gedenkwaardighede het toestemming verleen dat bogenoemde twee woonstelblokke gesloop word, mits 'n argeoloog aangestel word om te soek na enige moontlike oorblyfsels van Fort Drury, Bloemfontein se eerste fort, wat in 1846 op die terrein opgerig is. Die betrokke argeoloog het die outeur genader om die historiese navorsing oor die geskiedkundige terrein en die boustrukture daarop te doen. Ofskoon geen strukturele oorblyfsels van die klip- en kleifortjie bo-op die koppie tydens die argeologiese opgrawing gevind kon word nie, het die historiese navorsing interessante en grootliks onbekende gegewens oor die terrein aan die lig gebring. Toe daar met die navorsing begin is, was dit net bekend dat Bloemfontein se eerste fort op die koppie bokant die fontein opgerig is. Navorsing sou onthul dat twee ander belangrike boustrukture - Bloemfontein se eerste stoommeule, asook later 'n bierbrouery - op dieselfde terrein gestaan het, hoewel agter die koppie en nader aan die fontein. Baie min was tot dusver oor bogenoemde twee strukture bekend. Hierdie artikel lig die geskiedenis van die stoommeule en bierbrouery op die Fort Drury-terrein in 'n mate toe. Die stoommeule is in 1868 opgerig. Dit het met water uit die fontein gewerk en is tot 'n paar jaar voor die Anglo-Boereoorlog as saagmeule, koringmeule, draaibank en wolpers gebruik. Die meule is in ongeveer 1896 in 'n bierbrouery omskep wat tot in 1920 bestaan het.


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