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Kruger House: The legends live on

Paul Kruger house heritage month day September 2020 South African history
Fixing the water furrow and ramp in front of the Kruger residence

Another less well-known aspect of the site and early Pretoria’s history was the presence of a water furrow passing in front of the dwelling outside the front gate. Church Street was still a dirt road when Kruger resided in the dwelling, but few historical photographs indicate the presence of a deep water furrow passing in front of the dwelling just outside the boundary wall. Only when some of the pictures are scrutinised in detail, the lined water furrow becomes visible. The depth of the furrow is indicated in one of the old photographs taken in 1900. A cement walkway also led from the front gate to the church across the street. President Kruger had an office in the Old Raadzaal on Church Square and when he was picked up in the morning, or at any other occasion, by his state coach, he had to cross the furrow. To cross the furrow, a concrete platform had to be constructed across it. After complaining that the steps of the coach were too high to get inside, the platform crossing the water furrow had to be lifted directly in front of the gate to the property. With the coach parked in the dirt road the elevated surface allowed him to reach the lowest step of the coach with less effort.

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