10 National Monuments in 1 town
BURGERSDORP MUSEUM main building(Parsonage) - Burgersdorp monument #1
The main Burgersdorp museum building was erected in an adapted Victorian style in 1898 as a new parsonage for Prof. J.L. Cachet. Rev D. Postma, grandson of Prof. Postma lived in this parsonage from May 1915 for approximately 23 years. Later this house was used for an old age home. This house now forms part of the Museum housing a weapon & clothing collection, pioneers kitchen, Language & lecture room and Postma/Cachet chamber.
The Coetzee house was built in 1847. At a later date this house belonged to Mr. Bevan who boarded teachers for many years. Later it was the town house of the Coetzee family until it became part of the museum. This building houses a technological & Xhosa room as well as a library with a rare collection of Africana as well as old Bibles.
All the buildings within the museum complex have been declared National Monuments.
Ghost hunters must visit the De Bruin house - take a few shots of each room. Take your photo's and when you look at the photo's afterwards, remember, your lenses were clean(just look at the next shots, after the De Bruin house, without the ghosts.) You've been warned.
REFORMED THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY - Burgersdorp monument #2
On 11/11/1869 the outside building of Rev J.L. Cachet’s parsonage was opened as the seminary with Rev D. Postma as the first lecturer and Rev J.L. Cachet as second lecturer. The building was rebuilt in 1875 and used as seminary until the end of 1904.
The seminary was transferred from Burgersdorp to Potchefstroom and the present Potchefstroom University developed from there. One of the seminary’s well-known students was the poet, Totius. The buildings were declared National Monuments in 1969.
COETZEE House - Burgersdorp monument #3
Then Coetzee house was built in 1847. In later years it became the town house of the Coetsee family until they donated it to the Burgersdorp museum in 1972.
The house was declared a national monument in 1983.
De Bruin House - Burgersdorp monument #4
A national monument since 1983.
The De Bruin house is a typical Karoo house with cow-dung floors and reed ceilings. In 1849 this four-roomed house belonged to a certain Mr. J.G.F. Bender. During the 1930’s Mr. J.L. de Bruin bought this house to be used as a town house. It was donated to the Burgersdorp museum in 1972 and in 1980 it was integrated into the museum complex.
Old-fashioned farm implements: from a tractor to wagons & carts are to be found under the lean-to.
The BLOCK HOUSE(Fort) - Burgersdorp monument #5
During the Anglo Boer war the Block Houses formed a strong line of defence that stretched from Queenstown through Molteno to Aliwal North and Bethulie. Burgersdorp can boast with two of these sturdy structures. The British troops used these forts as a stronghold for their troops who were guarding and protecting the railway line itself as well as the bridges, from the Republican commandos (the Boer army). These commandos frequently attacked this post of the Cape Province from the Free State.
One of these Block Houses has been restored by the local Round Table and is also used by them while the other Block House was declared a National Monument in 1939.
The DUTCH REFORMED CHURCH - Burgersdorp monument #6
The farmers in the Stormberg River area had to travel long distances to church in either Cradock or Graaff Reinet in 1822. This was extremely inconvenient because of the distances to be travelled and also because farms had to be left undefended for long periods at a time. When the first congregation was formed in 1846 the farm Klipfontein was bought from Gert Buitendag by the delegates of the committee. In this way the town of Burgersdorp was founded.
The first church was consecrated on 10 February 1849 and Rev John Murray was inducted as the first minister on 26 May 1849. Because of continuous repairs to the building the congregation was obliged to build a new church. The new church as well as the organ, was inaugurated on 13 December 1913. The church is built along Roman architecture and has 1200 seats. The pulpit is teak and the framework of the organ is of Eastern oak. When the congregation celebrated its 150th anniversary in 1996, the church was declared a National Monument.
The OLD GAOL - Burgersdorp monument #7
The first gaol was a primitive building with a reed roof in Van der Walt Street. In 1854 the Circuit Court paid its first visit to Burgersdorp and during the night all 22 prisoners escaped through a hole in the reed roof. The gaol at the top of Piet Retief Street was built in 1861. Professor J.L. Cachet was held prisoner there during the Anglo Boer War and Piet Klopper, a Cape rebel was executed in the gaol during the war. The gaol was declared a National Monument in 1973 and today it is the Headquarters of the Stormberg Commando.
The present gaol is a modern building just out of town, on the road to Venterstad, and was opened in 1975.
CHRIST CHURCH - Burgersdorp monument #8
In 1858 a committee was elected to see to the building of an Anglican Church. In 1861 the D.R. Church donated 2 stands to this committee to build a church and this church was consecrated in 1865. It was known as Christ Church. In 1905 the church was enlarged when a chancel was added.
The small pedal organ purchased in 1890 is still being used in the church. In 1902 beautiful stained glass window was installed in honour of Mr. James Shorten, a councillor (1892 – 1902). Although this church was declared a National Monument in 1980 it is still used by both the local Methodist and Anglican congregations.
TAAL MONUMENT - Burgersdorp monument #9
This “Taal” Monument is the only one erected in honour of the Dutch Language in the country. The statue was made from Carrara marble and was built in Italy. The daughter of Daantjie van den Heever was used as the model. It was originally erected in 1893 in honour of equal rights of Dutch and English to be used in the Colonial Parliament. This movement was begun by the Boerebeschermingsvereniging under the leadership of Daantjie van den Heever on the farm, Vinkelfontein in 1878.
In 1901, during the Anglo Boer War this statue was damaged by the British troops and it was removed from its base. After the war, as a result of pressure from the inhabitants of Burgersdorp, the British Government agreed to pay all the costs of a replica of this monument. The new monument was unveiled in 1907. In March 1939 the original monument, minus the head, was dug up in King William’s Town. It was brought back and was erected next to the new monument on Burger Square where it stands today. The first miniatures of this monument were made and distributed by Johan Steynberg.
The JUBILEE FOUNTAIN - Burgersdorp monument #10
It was decided to lay out a park behind the Dutch Reformed Church in order to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897. This park was known as the Jubilee Park. At a later stage the Jubilee fountain was bought for the amount of 68 pound-18s-3d.
The fountain was later placed in front of the Town Hall, which was the first Albert Academy. When a new Town Hall was built in 1921 the Jubilee fountain was moved to the site of the present bowling green where it stood until 1986 when it was moved to its present position on Burger Square.
Originally only four of these Victoria Jubilee fountains were manufactured and as far as it is known, this Jubilee fountain in Burgersdorp is one of two to be found in South Africa.
Nasionale Gedenkwaardigheid - National Monument - And Burgersdorp got 10 of them.