Monday, June 12, 2017

Port Elizabeth's Shark River

Did you know that the little stream that flows through Happy Valley is called the Shark River?  The river valley actually extends up through the old Boet Erasmus Stadium and Forest Hill.  Back in the early days of Port Elizabeth the Shark River was one of the town's water sources with the Frames Reservoir being built in 1864 (and still there today).  The Shark River has never been a big river and unless there was rain it usually just kinda sunk away into the sand on the beach.  Thus the Dutch referred to it as the Sak River (sak meaning to sink away).  The English misunderstood what the Dutch were saying and started talking of the Shark River, hence the name.  A bit lost in translation.