Touw’s rivier

(prior to 1910)

The village of Montagu Road was established on the farm De Draai, or "the bend", on 7 November 1877, when the railway line from Worcester to Matjesfontein was opened to traffic. The station was located at a point where the line crossed the Touws River, and was named in honour of the Colonial Secretary, Sir John Montagu. However this was quite misleading, as the village of Montagu was located in a different direction, on the road to Swellendam, and on 1 January 1883 the station was renamed Touws River.

In its early days passengers travelling on the Western line frequently had to make an enforced stop at the village, sometimes for more than one night. As a result many of them stayed at the Frere Hotel, an establishment built by the Cape Government Railways for the purpose of accommodating their clients. This monopoly persisted until 1921 when the village's residential area was finally laid out.

Prepared by Franco Frescura.

Last updated : 09-Dec-2011

This article was produced for South African History Online on 04-Apr-2011