Historical Facts
Contact Us
 
 
Looking For
A to Z
Suburbs
Products
 
         
           
1488 -
September. Diaz sails into Bahia da Lagoa (Algoe bay). On his quest to find a sea route to the East, or to find the fabled Christian monarch of Prester John.  
1497 -
December. Vasco de Gamma sails into Algoa bay.  
1576 -
January: Manoel Perestrello visits Alogoa Bay on coastal survey.  
1647 -
June 1: The Sacramento goes ashore at Cape Receife.  
1669 -
Visit of Dutch East India Company officials to the bay.  
1690 -
January: The Noord in Algoa Bay. Commander reports unfavorable.  
1752 -
February 27: Sailors from the Nécessaire marooned about Humewood, happy valley, after attempting to find fresh water.
May 12-14: Ensign Beutler's Expedition in Port Elizabeth Area. Beacon erected at the mouth of the Swartkops river and Shark river
Click to Enlarge
1755 -
July 17: Wreck of the Doddington off Bird Island.  
1756 -
February 16: Doddington survivors sail for Delagoe Bay in ships they constructed from the wreckage.  
1768 -
October: J.W. Cloppenburg at Swartkops River.  
1772-3 -
Thunberg at Algoa Bay.  
1775 -
December: Sparrman in Eastern Cape, visits Swartkops saltpan.  
1776 -
Farms in area settled. Theunis Botha at Buffelsfontien. Thomas Ingnius Ferreira at Papenskuilsfontien. JohannesWilhelm van Staden at Coega.
November 16-18: Swellengrebel in neighbourhood of Algoa Bay.
 
1778 -
January 15-20: Col. Robert Jacob Gordon in vicinity of present Port Elizabeth.  
1779 -
January: William Paterson at Swartkops River.  
1782 -
Le Vaillant in neigbourhood of Algoa Bay.
December 4: Grosvenor survivors reach Papenkuilsfontein. One been William Hubberly
 
1783 -
January: Grosvenor survivors meet Commdt. Mulder.  
1785 -
May 2: The Pigot lands sick men, taken to Potgieter's farm. (Prof. Rennie believes they were landed at Kromme Bay).  
1786 -
Founding of Graaff Reinet.  
1792 -
May: Bantu invasion of area.  
1797 -
Sir John Barrow at Alga Bay.  
1799 -
May 2 & 8 British troops landed at Algoe Bay. Joined by Vanderleur and troops coming overland. Star Fort built. General Dundas joins Vandeleur.
August 9: More troops landed. Bantu attack Star Fort.
September 20: Battle of Algoe Bay. Blockhouse erected at Baakens. Fort Frederick commenced.
 
1801 -
Samuel Daniell. artist, at Algoe Bay.  
1802 -
September 10: Conference of General Dundas and leaders at Fort Frederick on withdrawal of troops. Thomas Ferreira occupies Fort Frederick. van der Kemp and is converts take refuge at Fort Frederick.  
1803 -
Bethelsdorp granted to Van der Kemp for mission settlement. Postal service to Uitenhage and Algoa Bay commenced.
April: General Janssens stations detachment of Waldeck Regiment at Fort Frederick.
May 8: General Jassenes arrives at Fort Frederick.
July: Garrison under command of Captain L. Alberti.
 
1804 -
January 6: Commisaris de Mist at Fort Frederick.  
1806 -
March 1: Captain Cyler and British Troops take over Fort Frederick  
1810-11 -
Frederick Korsten established himself at Algoa Bay as merchant, farmer and owner of whale fishery.  
1811 -
December 11 Death of Dr J. van der Kemp at Cape Town  
1812 -
January: Korsten acquired Papenkuilsfontein, renamed Cradock Place after Sir John Cradock. Cradock Place Ruins
1814 -
William Burchell traveling in Eastern Cape  
1815 -
Farm Welbedacht granted to A.M. Muller. Piet Retief granted land in present Summerstrand area.
September: Emerald Hill granted to John O'Neal.
 
1816 -
Piet Retief granted "garden ground" (just beyond present Albany Road). W.D. Jennings granted land extending from garden ground to boundary of Cradock Place. Post Office established at Uitenhage, serving also Algoa Bay.
Click to Enlarge
1817 -
Catain F.Evatt Assunes command at Fort Frederick. Col. Cuyler landdrost at Uitenhage.
December 15: Wreck of the Amsterdam near mouth of Swartkops river
 
1818 -
Land near Baakens river granted to John Berry  
1819 -
Lalande, French Naturalis, at Cradock Place. Korsten's "Uitenhage Packet" enters Swartkops. Four of Korsten's ships wrecked near Baarkens during storm.  
1820 -
April 9: First Settler ship Chapman arrives in bay. H.M.S. Menai (CaptainMoresby) Present.
April 18: First parties of settlers move off. Gruney's party from deal settle at mouth of Zwartkops.
June 6: Arrival of Sir Rufane Donkin. Gives town its present name. Orders erection of memorial to his wife. Foundations of Captain Moresby's house laid. Rufane Vale granted to Captain Moresby. Hartman occupying farm in present Russell Road - Albany Road area.
October Papenbiesiesfontein (South End) granted to Gerhardus Oosthuizen.
 
1821 -
Post Office Estblished in Port Elizabeth. Five more settler ships arrive. Piet Retief buys Erf No.1 (Union Castle Corner) from Captain Evatt (Piet Retief already owned Erf No.2) Chelsea Farm sold to J.D. Ward. (Formerly Captain Evatt was allowed use of the farm.  
1822 -
Old blockhouse repaired and used as prison. Grffins Hawkins compiles list of inhabitants. Thomas Sterley appointed constable.
April 27: Korsten granted 3 year lease of Bird and St Croix islands for seal catching.
 
1824 -
Mosenthal's business established in Port Elizabeth. Toll bar erected at North End. Harbour Master appointed. Captain Francis. Port Elizabeth becomes a magistracy. Captain Evatt appointed government resident with powers of magistrate.
May 25: English declared official language
 
1825 -
Rev. F McClelend appointed Colonial Chaplain. Subscription list for erection of Anglican church started. Foundation stone of St Mary's laid. British silver declared legal tender.  
1828 -
Chaka's ambassadors and Lieut. King at Cradock. Col. Cuyler resigns as landdrost. First service in union Church. Retief sells Gomery Farm to W.B. Frames. Houghham Hudson appointed magistrate in Port Elizabeth.
April 1: Sterley's appointment as constable officially approved.
 
1829 -
A.H.Board buys Moresby's Rufane Vale estate.
January: Captain Scorey erects flagstaff for use of port.
 
1830 -
Rev. Adam Robson commences ministry, Bethelsdorp.  
1831 -
Korsten commences wool farming. Erection of McCleland House. Streets of Port Elizabeth named. Cora Terrace built 1831-1834.
December 2: Captain Evatt marries Anna de la Harpe. St Mary's Church opened for worship.Rev. A.Robson leaves Bethelsdorp to take charge of Union Church. W.A.Harries, artist born.
March : Meeting called to consider building jetty.
 
1834 -
Captain Scorey leaves sea to run Scorey's Hotel (Markham).
November Special beacon erected at Cape Receife for ships.
 
1835 -
Captain J.E. Edwards lands in Port Elizabeth, sets up defences against possible Bantu invasion. Bouy placed over Roman Rock. Sir Benjamin D'urban visits Port Elizabeth. H.G. Dunsterville appointed Harbour Master.
July 23 - December 7: American Board Missionaries at Betheldorp.
December 31: Captain Evatt granted plot next to No 7 Castle Hill House Erected later.
 
1836 -
Sir Benjamin D'Urban visits Port Elizabeth.
April 13: Port Elizabeth declared free warehousing port.
September: John Owen Smith erects flagstaff for use of port.
 
1837 -
Wreck of the Feejee.
March 9: Wreck of the Maria.
October: Building of jetty started round wreck of Feejee.
 
1838 -
November - December; Rev. Francis Owen living at No 7 Castle Hill.  
1839 -
Wesleyan minister, Rev, J.Edwards appointed. Building of Queen Street. Wesleyan Church commenced. Joshua Kemp in business, acting goaler.
June 16: death of Frederick Korsten.
 
1840 -
New post office at foot of Castle hill. Ship Hope plying between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Dramatic Society creates Lyceum, Henry Street.
April 10: Foundation stone of land end of jetty laid. A. Geddes writes" Ode to a Jetty". Special celebrations for 20th anniversary of landing.
May 20: Dom Pedro, dismasted, arrives in Algoa Bay. On August 10 her cargo is sold and the wreck beached.
 
1841 -
Jetty is Completed. Wesleyan Church Completed. Dr. Livingstone passes through Port Elizabeth.
June 11: John Paterson arrives to take up duties as schoolmaster.
December 8: School Committee formed.
 
1842 -
Lord Auckland and sister visit Cradock Place.
August 7: Wreck of the Sabina.
 
1843 -
Main Street frontage of St Mary's plot sold to William Smith for £181.Chas and W.Geard arrive. Foundation if Port Elizabeth Cricket Club.
July 26. Foundation stone of Commercial Hall laid.
August 23. Storm, 4 Vessels wrecked, two wreck destroy jetty.
 
1844 -
Port Elizabeth News society founded. Algoa bay Cricket Club.
April 10. Special settler celebrations.
September 14. Martin Beresford arrives in Port Elizabeth.
 
1845 -
May 7. Eastern Province Herald founded.
December 23. First horse races held.
 
1846 -
John Niblett at Theescombe farm.
January. Wm Ring starts subscription library and loans newspapers.
April 11. First censes of Port Elizabeth.
October. M.Leger, photographer at Port Elizabeth. Assisted by Wm ring.
 
1847 -
January. Port Elizabeth bank opened.
February 3. Wreck of the Thunderbolt.
September 30. Bishop Grey at Port Elizabeth.
October 21. Wn Ring Declared insolvent.
December 3. Election of Board of Commissioners.
December 14. Sir Harry Smith arrives in Port Elizabeth.
December 16 to 17. Elections of Wardmasters. F.O.Hutchinson Town Clerk.
 
1848 -
W.H.Harris, Member of Legislative Council. Wm Higgins, Town Clerk. Mechanics Institute built. Joseph Reid succeeds John Paterson as Head of Senior Government School.
February 18. Thomas Baines arrives in Port Elizabeth.
September. Mansby life saving mortar equipment obtained.
September 7. First issue of the Port Elizabeth telegraph.
October 2. Public Library opened in Commercial Hall.
 
1849 -
Anti-convict agritation. Robert Pinchin, government surveyor.
March 3. Chamber of Commerce founded.
November 7. John Paterson marries Frances Mary Kemp.
 
1850 -
Henry Fancourt White posted to Port Elizabeth. White's road constructed. Sea wall commenced. Dr Nathaniel Rubidge in Port Elizabeth.
March 21. Death of Captain F.Evatt.
May 7. J.R. Phillip publishes first number of "The Mercury"
June 29. E.P. Herald ceases publication.
September 14. John Paterson publishes first number of "E.P. News".
 
1851 -
Wm Passmore, Town Clerk. Frames's woolwashery established at Shark's River.
April 18. Cape Receife ligfhthouse brought into commission.
 
1852 -
J.C.Kemsley, Town Clerk. Baakens bridge rebuilt by H.F.White.
August 10. Farewell dinner for Captain Harrington of the of the Phoenix.
October 15. George T. Kemp, John Paterson's partner dies.
November 28. First Bird Island lighthouse comes into commission.
December. Thomas Baines in Port Elizabeth.
 
1853 -
Commercial Bank of Port Elizabeth founded. Church erected in Main Street.
July 10. Death of Rev. F. McCleland.
September 1. Postage stamps first used.
 
1854 -
John Paterson and H.F. White elected to first Parliament. S.F. Innes Town Clerk. Fire destroys Post Office and Harbour records. Queen's Street Baptist Church built.
January 3. E.P.News changes its name to E.P.Herald.
April 15. Death of Clo. Cuyler.
July 1. Wm Deacon appointed gaoler.
September 20. Wreck of the Charlotte. October 21. Foundation stone of St Pauls laid.
 
1855 -
Sir George Grey visits Port Elizabeth. Grace Street mosque built.  
1856 -
Wm S.Armstrong elected to parliament. First breakwater commenced. Smallpox hospital established in valley. J. Brunton, Photographer, in Jetty Street. Commercial Hall taken as court house. Library moves to Kemp Street.
January 17. Grey Institute foundation stone laid.
June 4. Port Elizabeth Divisional Council established by law.
August 22. Port Elizabeth Volunteer Rifle Corps founded.
September. Port Elizabeth divisional Council elected.
September 10. Rodney Street Hospital opened.
 
1857 -
F.O. Hutchinson, Town Clerk. Town Breakwater completed. E.P.Herald sold to George Impey. P.E. Turf Club founded. P.E. Foxhound Club founded.
August. Trinity Church founded (c/o Baakens Street and Military Road).
November 1. Flood, Baakens Bridge swept away.
 
1858 -
W.M.Harries elected to Parliament. St Mary's Church enlarged. Clairmonte's store, Main Street and Kemp Street, burned down. Lyceum theater, Henry Street sold. Special passenger cart service. Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown, started. Death of William Fleming.
October 18. Foundation stone of Town Hall laid.
 
1859 -
J.R. Phillips elected to Parliament. Papenbiessiesfontien (South End) sold in lots. First bridge over Swartkops opened. Last public execution North End goal. Redhouse becomes known by that name. New hospital, Richmond Hill, taken over. Volunteer fire brigade set up.
February 1. Grey school formally declared open.
March 9. P.E. Cricket Club granted present Crusader Ground.
April 14. Grey Institute High School opened.
October. Gale force winds, 6 vessels wrecked.
October. Post Office moved seaward side of Market square.
November 17. Port Elizabeth Volunteer Artillery Corps founded.
 
1860 -
William Smith, Mayor. Joshua Cawood and C.L. Stretch. M.L.A.'s for Port Elizabeth. Port Elizabeth Incorporation Bill passed. J.S.Kirkwood takes over Rodney Street Hospital as Auction rooms. Birch's shop opened. James Daly arrives in Port Elizabeth. Built houses wit Irish names on Prospect Hill. New North End goal built.
Febraury. Port Elizabeth converts to Moronism leave for Salt Lake City.
August 6. Landing of Prince Alfred. P.E. Volunteer rifle Corps renamed Prince Alfred's Guard.
October 1. Library takes rooms in Town Hall.
December. First Town Council elected. William Smith . mayor.
 
1861 -
Presbyterian leave "New' Church . Hold service in Grey Institute.
January 1. Port Elizabeth becomes a Borough.
January 2. First meeting of Port Elizabeth Town Council. January. First pillarbox erected.
March 18. Death of Lt. James Craig, V.C.
June 1. North End market opened. Port Elizabeth brought into use
November 1. Theater opened in Commerce Street Sefton Parry's company performs.
December. Thomas Bowler in Port Elizabeth.
 
1862 -
Town Hall completed. Gas Company formed. Hospital extended.
April. Arm breakwater (shield) commenced.
June 2. New Theater, White's Road opened. Serfton Parry's company.
June 16. Foundation stone of new Holy Trinity Church laid.
October 13. Standard Bank registered.
December 31. Telegraphic service, Between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown, started.
 
1864 -
J.C. Chase and M.H. Benjamin, M.L.A's for Port Elizabeth. St Augustine's Church commenced. Gas first supplied to City. Port Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce founded. Port Elizabeth agricultural Society formed. Frames dam on Shark River, supplies water to Port Elizabeth. German Company of P.A.G formed.
July 26. Port Elizabeth Public Library Act of Incorporation passed.
 
1865 -
Matthew E. Kemp. Mayor. John Miller, M.L.A. for Port Elizabeth. Hill Presbyterian Church opened. P.E. "Advertiser" founded.  
1866 -
John Miller, Mayor. Joseph Reid and William Knight, M.L.A's for Port Elizabeth. St Augustine's Church opened. Port Elizabeth illuminated by gas.
February 13. First Port Elizabeth tug boat the St Croix arrives. April 6. First service in new Holt Trinity Church.
 
1867 -
Swartkops convict station built.
May 14. Wreck of the Balaclava.
November. Holy Rosary Convent School opened.
November 19-20. Floods, Harbour silted up. Breakwater becomes useless.
 
1868 -
Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage Divisional Council's dispute over tolls.  
1869 -
April. The "Great Eastern" passes Port Elizabeth.
August. Death of Dr N. Rubidge.
September 19. Gale force winds, 11 vessels wrecked, including tug St Croix. Demolition of breakwater (completed in 1879).
 
1870 -
North Jetty built. H.W. Pearson, M.L.A. for Port Elizabeth. St George's Park opened.
August. Death of Rev. Adam Robson.
 
1871-
H.W Pearson Mayor. Second tug Koodoo arrives in Port Elizabeth.
September 28. Cobb's coach service started.
 
1872 -
Reclamation of Driftsands started. Tower added to Holy Trinity Church.
June 6. Turning of first sod for railway.
November 28. Wreck of the Anne Marie at Swartkops.
 
1873 -
John Paterson. M.L.A. for Port Elizabeth. Aegis Assurance and Trust Co. founded. Second Bird Island Lighthouse erected.
October 16. First train leaves Port Elizabeth station for North End.
November. Thomas Baines in Port Elizabeth. Lecturers and sells paintings to Library.
 
1874 -
H.H. Soloman, Mayor. T. Wormald Town Clerk. William Hume, M.L.A. for Port Elizabeth. Collegiate High School for Girls founded.
July 14. Announcement of failure of Codd's Coach Company.
 
1875 -
Standard Bank building erected.
March. Scottish Company of P.A.G. formed.
April 19. Wreck of the Jupiter T.
September. JA Forage in Port Elizabeth.
September 2 Port Elizabeth to Uitenhage railway opened.
October. famous Jewel theft case tried at Court House.
October 30. Foundation of St Peter's Church Laid.
 
1876 -
H.W.Pearson, Mayor. J.S. Kirkwood, M.L.A. for Port Elizabeth. Rawson Bridge overSwartkops, swept away in floods. Van Staden's reseroir completed.
January 21. Arrival of the tug Koodoo.
April 18. Foundation stone of Western Road Synagogue laid.
May. Marist Brothers High School founded.
May. Presentation of clours to P.A.G.
May. Captain Disney Roebuck's theatrical company in Port Elizabeth.
July 6. "Observer" founded.C.J.Barber, cartoonist.
November 24. P.A.G. disbanded.
December 15. Death of J.C. Chase.
 
1877 -
Drinking fountains installed round base of obelick. Steinman's Hotel burned down (cnf Russell road and Queen street). New bridge over Swartkops started. Western Road Synagogue consecrated. Sir John Coode'splans for harbour.Skating rink erected in Rink Street. January. P.A.G. re-formed.
October 4. Detachment of P.A.G. leaves for Galeka War.
Qctober 23. Death of Dr G. Dunsterville.
December 2. Battle of Umzintzani.
 
1878 -
Samuel Bain. Moyor. W.P. Pinn. Town Clerk. Wm Savage, M.L.A. for Port Elizabeth. Port Elizabeth Divisional Council Mounted Police established. January O'Donnell-Wigman lawsuit.
February 4. P.A.G. returns from operations.
May 24. Death of Freeman Cobb. April Grammar School re-opened.
July. Cape St Francis lighthouse put into commission.
July 12. Wreck of the Petronella.
 
1879 -
Port Elizabeth Tramwayy Company formed.
January 16. Death of Mrs. Elizabeth Robson.
February 5. Detachment of P.A.G. relieves British troops at Kingwilliams Town for service against Zulus.
April 28. P.A.G. detachment returns to Port Elizabeth.
June 5. "Cape Hornet" commences publication.
September 27. Wylde Bridge over Swartkops river opened.
November 29. Last number of " Cape Hornet".
 
1880 -
Deutsche Liedertafel built. H.W.Pearson Mayor, M.L.A. and Colonial Treasurer. Post Office moved to corner of Main And Jetty Steet. Sale of lots, Westbourne Road- Eastbourne Road- Albany Road area.
May 14. John Paterson drowned.
September 5. First supply of water from Van Staden's dam.
September 15. Building of Drill Hallbegins.
September 25. P.A.G leaves for service in Basuto War. (4th Service Detachment).
 
1881 -
J.C. Kemsley, Mayor. H.B. Christian. M.L.A. for Port Elizabeth. Horse-drawn tram service started.
January 3. 5th Service Detachment leaves for Basuto war.
January 10. P.A.G. at Battle ot Tweefontein.
February 13. P.A.G. at battle of Wittekoppies.
February 19. 4th Service Detachment P.A.G returns to Port Elizabeth.
May 15. 5th Service Detachment P.A.G returns to Port Elizabeth.
September 3. Consecration of St Johns Church, Walmer.
September 25. Pearson St Congregational Church opened.
October 2. Native location riots.
November. Founding of P.A.G. Rocket Brigade.
December 16. Gale. Wreck of Albatross and Liberace. P.A.G. Rocket Brigade in action for first time.
 
1822 -
H.W. Pearson Mayor. J.A.Holland tower erected on Town Hall. First telephone exchange in South Africa at Port Elizabeth Post Office. Parliament votes for building of Port Elizabeth jetty. Toll gate rights sold to private parties. February 17 Drill Hall opened. June General Gordon in Port Elizabeth. September 12 Conservatory opened in St George's Park.  
1883 -
May General Gordon again in Port Elizabeth. July 30 Patrick O'Donnell, killer of James Carey, brought ashore and imprisoned. Preliminary trial in Port Elizabeth Court House.  
1884 -
James Brister, Mayor. C.T. Jones, M.L.A. for Port Elizabeth. St Cuthbert's church opened. Erica School for Girls established. New South Jetty completed.
 
1885 -
Hallack & Girdlestone's cycle ride to Cape Town.
December. Industrial Exhibition in Port Elizabeth.
 
1887 -
January 7 Death of James Langley Dalton, V.C.
June 21. Celebration of Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria's reign.
 
1888 -

Custom house erected ( other sources give 1882).
January. Major Deare resigns command of P.A.G

July. TheTweed demasted, towed into Port Elizabeth and beached.

August 30 Gale force winds drive 7 ships assore. Rocket Brigade in action.

 

 
1889 -

H.W. Pearson , Colonial Secretary.

March 12. First Cricket test match in South Africa started at the Crusader Grounds.

 
1890 -

James Brister, Mayor. Josep Storr Lister commences his work of reclaiming drift sands area. Rodger Ascham arrives in Port Elizabeth as organist at Holy Trinity, Music teacher to Collegate School.

September First golf club founded

 
1891 - 1894
Humewood area acquired from harbour board some time between 1891 and 1894.  
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
Menu
Our Beaches
Local Attractions
Places of Interest
Gallery
Hikes And Trails
Regional Radio
Historical Events
W
 
 
 
 
 
© 2001 PE.ORG. All rights reserved