South Africa
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History of Port Alfred

The Kowie Museum is a history museum in Port Alfred which preserves, catalogues and displays the history of the town and its people.

This small museum was first established in 1982 by a group of dedicated volunteers. The creation of a Kowie Museum at Port Alfred was first envisaged by Ted Morse Jones. Sadly, Ted Morse Jones died in 1969 and never got to see the fruits of his initiative. After almost 30 years the building in which it was housed was sold and the Museum as moved to the Old Railway Station building in October 2012. The Kowie Museum continues to be run by a dedicated team of volunteers and a Curator.

Dedicated to the social history of the district, some of the stand out exhibits includes the 1820 Settlers Exhibit which displays an old card index with the names of the 4 000 British settlers and immediate descendants who landed in the area in the 1800’s – a piece of history that affects thousands of South Africans. The shipwreck display tells the mysterious story of Breseis, a ship which ran aground on a reef while returning from India in 1859 - now one of the most popular wreck sites, attracting divers from all over the world.

The history museum offers other attractions such as a shell collection as well as Xhosa customs and beadwork.

Things to see and do

  • Naval and Railway Artefacts
  • Photos and documents
  • Paintings of Port Alfred
  • IsiXhosa Collection
  • 1820 Settlers Exhibit
  • Shipwrecks Exhibit
  • Historical Books
  • Shell Collection
  • Royal Alfred Exhibit
  • Our Bridges Exhibit
  • Tours by Arrangement


There is currently no admission fee however, please contact the Museum directly to confirm

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