The Transgariep Museum in Philippolis is a cultural history museum, specialising in the local history of the area. It covers three interesting themes - Dr. J. Philip and the London Missionary Association, the Griqua era of Adam Kok II and Adam Kok III and Emily Hobhouse.
This small museum features a handful of historical exhibits. It is divided into separate exhibit rooms with one room showing the work of the London Missionary and on display is the book, “Researchers in South Africa” by Dr. Philip whom the town is named after. He acted as the Superintendent of the Missionary Association in South Africa since 1819 till 1849 and his book was published in 1823.
The bedroom, kitchen and living rooms are furnished in the way it was in the times of Adam Kok. Adam Kok and his Griquas, who lived in Philippolis since 1826 till 1863, were spiritually guided by the London Missionary Association. The move to this area was under the leadership of Adam Kok III, who was a Griqua slave that had been released. In 1862 they moved to Griqualand-East, after the Republic of Free State bought their land.
Behind the Museum on the hill, visitors can still see two cannons which were used by Adam Kok, as well as a "Griquakraal" next to the library.
In the backyard is an old “perdemeul” - a mill that grounds flour by using horses, mules or donkeys to turn a large wheel, which then turns a grinding stone. This is the only museum in the Free State to house this interesting item and remains in working condition.
Also, in the backyard is a "`Stookketel" (distilling kettle). The Museum makes its own spirits (witblits) of grapes, peaches and other fruits. The witblits is not sold but offered to visitors to taste.
The final rooms are dedicated to the life of Emily Hobhouse and her spinning and weave school which opened in Philippolis in 1905. The picture cabinet shows photos, drawings and paintings of the leaders who played an important role in the history of Philippolis such as Adam Kok II and Adam Kok III, missionaries of the London Missionary Association like Dr. Philip and John Campbell.
Please contact the Museum directly to confirm entrance fee and opening times as the Museum is run by volunteers and times may change without notice.
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