Roodepoort MuseumEnquire Now
+27 11 761 0226 www.gauteng.net
The Roodepoort Museum traces the evolution of Johannesburg from a mining camp to Africa’s economic powerhouse. Using period memorabilia assembled over decades, the museum’s exhibits show how the discovery of gold was the catalyst for this transformation.
Roodepoort, to the west of Johannesburg, holds a special place in Johannesburg’s history. It was here, in Sterkfontein and Wilgespruit, that the Struben brothers – Fred and Harry – first discovered gold in 1884. In the 1960s the West Rand Historical Society started to collect and preserve the cultural heritage of Roodepoort. In October 1963 they donated their historical collection to the then City Council of Roodepoort.
After a change in premises - and near closure due to financial constraints - the Roodepoort Museum was salvaged and moved to the Civic Centre, where it was reopened in 2007. At the museum visitors ‘time travel’ through different eras that show the impact that gold mining had on Roodepoort and Johannesburg from social and economic perspectives. Visitors can see how early 19th-century settlers would have lived a frugal existence; whereas a typical Victorian household was filled with finery because the precious metal allowed people to accumulate possessions.
The theme of technological innovation driven by wealth continues throughout the museum. Visitors can peek into recreated 1920s and 1930s living rooms to see how everyday items like radios, furniture and appliances have changed though the decades. Only open by appointment, the Roodepoort Museum is well worth a visit for its superbly preserved collections of memorabilia gleaned from local homes since the 1960s. Visiting by appointment.