The Roodepoort Museum traces the history of the gold rush in the area, following the development of Roodepoort from a mining camp into the municipality of Maraisburg in 1904, and then into a city in 1977. Here you will learn about the geology of the Witwatersrand and how the discovery of gold changed this area forever.
The Roodepoort area was inhabited as early as the Stone Age and there were cattle farmers here for centuries, a distant history which is detailed at the start of the exhibition. In the mid-19th Century Boer farmers who left the Cape Colony in the Great Trek of 1834 to 1840 settled in the area, and the museum’s Pioneer Farmhouse display provides insight into the lifestyle of these early settlers, displaying the furniture and household objects of the farming society.
In 1884, Fred and Harry Struben discovered Johannesburg’s first payable gold seam at Confidence Reef in Roodepoort, a find that prompted other fortune seekers to rush to explore this part of the Reef. Another display shows how well-off residents lived after the discovery of gold in the area. The late Victorian house display showcases an opulent lifestyle with highly decorative interiors and the most modern appliances such as a gramophone and early radio. The displays of 1920s and 1930s sitting rooms are also interesting, as they reveal changes in living conditions influenced by World War I.
The museum also includes a number of precious objects from around the world that once belonged to the wealthy residents of Roodepoort such as decorative glass and porcelain from producers such as Royal Doulton, Meissen, Rosenthal, Royal Worcester, Wedgewood and Lalique.
R20 per adult and R10 per child.
Visits by prior appointment only