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The Ostrich Boom PDF Print E-mail

ostriches.jpgThe main reason for the large rise in prosperity was the ostrich, whose feathers had become extremely popular as fashion accessories in Europe; they were especially popular for use on hats. Between 1875 and 1880 ostrich prices reached up to GBP 1,000 a pair.

The farmers of the region, realising that ostriches were far more profitable than any other activity, ripped out their other crops and planted lucerne, which was used as feed for the ostriches. The rising wealth also finally allowed for the completion of the Dutch Reformed Church - it was opened on 7 June 1879.
 

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Historical Information PDF Print E-mail

The area in which Oudtshoorn is situated was originally inhabited by the Bushmen, as evidenced by the many rock paintings that are found in caves throughout the surrounding Swartberg mountains.The first European explorers of the area was a trading party led by a certain Ensign Shrijver, who were guided there by a Griqua via an ancient elephant trail in January 1689.The expedition reached as far as present-day Aberdeen before turning back and exiting the Klein Karoo valley through Attaquas Kloof on 16 March of the same year. However, it was only a hundred years later that the first farmers started settling in the region.

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