During the town's boom years from 1879 to 1880, Ottoshoop was the commercial capital of South Africa.
A young Irish ship-jumper-turned-farmer, M.J. Kelly, discovered gold there in 1879. Kelly's discovery led to the first gold fields in South Africa, which President Paul Kruger visited under the guidance of the local magistrate, a Mr Otto. Otto reportedly said he hoped the gold fields would turn Melemani into a large town, upon which President Kruger was said to answer: "good, then we shall call it Ottoshoop".
Such was the gold fever at the time and so many were the punters hoping to strike it rich that Ottoshoop had seven flourishing honky-tonk hotels on Commissioner, its main street.
Then irony struck: in this arid scrub-land bordering the Kalahari desert, Otto's hope literally drowned in water. As the original seTswana name hinted, the town sat on top of what some old-timers describe as an underground river 25 kilometres wide in parts. During the summer rain season, the water level rose to fill every the mine shaft and pit with water faster than it could be pumped with the biggest pumps money could buy – then and now.
WOW, that was amazing to read.... how quickly something goes up, can be quickly brought down...
Thank you for this.. beautiful image... have you ever tried to go inside some of these buildings.. I bet there would be some great things to see and capture within
Thanks Rafael for your visit to my collection and your kind comments. Yes it is an interesting place and I have been inside some of them, but unfortunately this one has been closed up.
Dankie vir die mooi inligting.
Dankie vir die besoek en kommentaar Stephan. Ottoshoop sal seker net gered kan word as iemand soos Anton Rupert geld daarin wil belê. Of as dit soos Clarens of nou ook Verkykerskop deur sakemanne ontwikkel word. Voorspoedige 2012. Daan.
Pikante dorpie. Die kerk op die dorp in wie se besit is dit en is dit dalk te koop?
Hallo Jan, ja dis Wes-Transvaal se Pelgrimsrus. Ek het twee keer op pad na Mafikeng daar ingery om foto's te neem, maar het nog nie tyd daar deurgebring nie.
Sign up to comment.
Sign in if you already did it.
Photo taken in Ottoshoop, South Africa
Misplaced? Suggest new location