Notes on the Geography of South Africa: Swellendam 4: Commercial Development
Watch the turnover of businesses.
This building went up in the 1880s. Now it's a dry-goods chain store, but it was the Royal Hotel in 1930 and later became the Hotel Ten Damme.
The Ten Damme Hotel moved to and then left these new quarters, leaving its name on the surviving shopping center.
Before the heritage boom came to town, this was Swellendam's swank hotel; the parking lot has been filled in and made into shops.
This was the Commercial Hotel in 1924. Since it can't play the gables-and-thatch card, it adopts at least an Afrikaner name.
A house once, the gable was removed and the building divided into two businesses: dentist on the left, biltong shop on the right. (The stuff can be awfully chewy; having the dentist is handy if you break a tooth.)
Despite the claim to venerable tradition, this building used to be a pharmacy, a tailor's shop, a news stand, and a print shop. By 1960 it was a greengrocer.
Peel away the sidewalk addition and you can see an older building, though nothing remarkable.
The Chinese Shop was once a general store. Later it was a florist and a hairdresser. Easy come, probably not so easy go.
Few of these buildings would draw a second glance; here's one that might. The garage is still in business in new space next to the camera.
Audi. Vide. Tace. A Masonic motto. The former lodge is now a restaurant.
It sits on a highly engineered creek, its bank tamed by gabions. It's that Dutch heritage again!
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