1820 Settlers ChurchBack

Extracts from Port Alfred River Club's Kowie Souvenir Programme d.d. 9.4.1955. Among the thick bush and sandhills on the East Bank of the Kowie River, only 6 years after the landing of the 1820 Settlers, Rev. William Shaw built this church. The original roof was constructed of thick thatch, walls were built of rough stones and the floor of dried mud. This was the only church for many miles, and was first used by all denominations. It was called it the "Bush Church". During the turbulent times of the Frontier wars, some of the settlers used it as a place of refuge, but it was devastated by fire. It was rebuilt only to be burnt down again. Later the building was roofed with iron, the walls strengthened and for a while portion of it was used as a dwelling. Between the picturesque old church and thesettler's cemetery alongside, stands the ancient church bell, which came from a long forgotten shipwreck.