Willemsrivier’s fountain

Posted on Thu February 25, 2021.

The partitioning of the square of Willemsrivier took place in 1939. With this partitioning a contract was set up that divided the water of the fountain. There were five owners, the Kotzé’s had 22 morg, the three Louw’s each had a portion, and the McGregors as well. The other two owners aren’t known.

The square, that was section 9 of Kliprivier, was 44 morg big. The size of each owner’s piece of the square, determined how much water each one may take from the fountain. The source of the fountain, approximately 500m from the farm site, is encircled with a small wall on which a metal lid is affixed.

Bordering this is five rectangular enclosures where the overflow water from the fountain is held. The contract determined that only the water overflow that was in the five enclosures may be used. This stopped the fountain from being overused and the risk of it drying up.

The difference between how much water each one may use is determined by the overflow to the five sections. An engineer designed a copper plate with five different sizes that regulated the overflows to each of the five sections, determined by the size of each owner’s square.

The bigger your square of land, the more water would come to your side. The original copper plate is still there today.

With the copper plate, there is also a safety mechanism that ensured each one could lock his side of the fountain water. At the outside of each section, pretty low, there was a pipe which funneled the water along. All the houses on Willemsrivier received their water from the fountain.

It was usually the work of the young children and coloured people to carry buckets of water to the farm site. The water was stored in wooden tubs at the front of the house or kitchen, to ensure that remained cool and clean. After the wooden tubs were full, two more buckets were placed beside the tubs to make sure that there would be enough water for the next day.

Even to this day all of the water on the farm is still sourced from the fountain. Pipes were laid and wind pumps erected that pumps the water to the houses on the farm.