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Information on Rhodes, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Conference Venues South Africa brings you information on Rhodes situated in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa including information on Facilities and Recreation, Climate, Founding, History Suburbs, Town Planning and Geography.

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Rhodes is a small village alongside the trout rich Bell River, at the foot of Ben MacDhui in the Drakensberg mountains of the Eastern Cape.

Rhodes is the home of three significant sporting events, the oldest of which is the Rhodes Trail Run. The Rhodes Mountain Bike Challenge is held in October each year. The Bell's Wild Trout Festival is based in Rhodes and participants fish for three days on the 180 km of running water which is within an hours drive of the village.

Using Rhodes as a starting and end point, day trips of varying length can be planned. Being off the beaten track, it is important to be prepared as the weather can and does change at short notice. Rock art by members of the various San communities abounds in sandstone valleys in the area.

Rhodes History

The farm Tintern, owned by Mr J A Vorster, was advertised for sale in 274 erven or lots on 16 September 1891. In September 1894, the erf-holders and residents met to petition the government to declare Rhodes as a village under the Village Management Act of 1881. Rhodes was proclaimed a township with municipal rights in 1897.

Between 24 June 1901 and February 7 1902, the village was invaded no less than 29 times during the Second Boer War.

Local legend has it that it was originally named Rossville after Ds Ross and that the name was changed to Rhodes in the hopes that the mining magnate and then Prime Minister of the Cape, Cecil John Rhodes, would bless the village with his benificence. Alas, this was not to be, and the legend has it that he sent a wagonload of Stone Pine trees instead. Another variation has it that he sent the trees as well as 500 pounds The story continues that the funds disappeared together with the official who received them. More recent speculation would have it that the trees could not have been donated by Rhodes as the species reputed to have been supplied by him have a life-expectancy which has long been exceeded.

Ds Ross, who was based in Lady Grey, ministered to the community, travelling to and fro on horseback. Although of English speaking origin, he was interned during the Second Boer War. Prior to the war, he conducted his services alternately in English and Afrikaans. Clothed in rags and having walked barefooted from the Aliwal North concentration camp to his home in Lady Grey after his release, he was thoroughly disgusted with the British and refused to conduct his services in English thereafter.

The majority of buildings were constructed around the turn of the century and the village continued to grow and prosper, its heyday being between 1911 and 1945. The advent of the "Wool Boom" of the 1950s provided a brief upsurge, but the wealth gained were soon spent. At this time, wool was sold for a pound for a pound. A steady decline set in after this flash-in-the-pan and which continued into the 70s as witnessed by the eventual closure of the white school in 1976.

Towns and Suburbs of the Eastern Cape province of South Africa

Addo , Aliwal North , Bathurst , Beachview , Beacon Bay , Bluewater Bay , Cape St Francis , Cintsa , Coffee Bay , Cradock , East London , Gonubie , Graaff Reinet , Grahamstown , Haga Haga , Hogsback , Humewood , Humerail , Jansenville , Jeffreys Bay , Kei Mouth , Kenton-on-Sea , King Williams Town , Kirkwood , Nahoon , Mthatha , Paterson , Port Elizabeth , Port Alfred , Port St Johns , Qolora Mouth , Quigney , Rhodes , Richmond Hill , St Francis Bay , Storms River , Stutterheim , Summerstrand , Sunland , Swartkops , Tsitsikamma , Uitenhage , Walmer

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