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The History of Hartbeespoort Dam

Dam wall being builtMany years ago, a man by the of General Hendrik Schoeman, owned a farm called Hartbeespoort. He had the idea of building a dam, in which the community could gain from (Little did he know of the struggle to come).

During 1896 building of the dam wall began in the Crocodile river, near the railway line that today runs to Meerhof. It was the largest dam in the southern hemisphere. He named this dam "Sophia dam", after his wife, but was later changed to the name that stands today. Hartbeespoort dam.

The dam wall cost a staggering R10 000 to build... Back then. It was decided 1905 to relocate the location of the dam wall. It would be positioned between two mountains. The same position still remains today. A swedish man by the name of August Karlson was hired to engineer the build. However, due to financial problems and the onset of war, construction came to a halt soon after. Building commenced again in 1918.

Unfortunately, during 1921, torrential rain washed the temporary dam away. Again construction came to a stand still. Out of sheer frustration, August Karlson resigned from his position. The council was left with no one to finish the build, so they hired a young, but talented engineer named F.W.Scott. With the dam finally built, the first road over the bridge was tarred. This became the new road between Pretoria and Rustenburg.

We take our hats off to the men who gave the Hartbeespoort community something to be proud of.

Short facts: -Shape of the dam wall is found nowhere else in South Africa.
-250 000 bags of cement were used for the dam wall.
-At full capacity, the dam fills to 205 million cubic meters of water.