Kimberley, South Africa


The Development of Kimberley and Its Mines


The Kimberley Community

The Development of Kimberley and Its Mines

For more pictures of the development of Kimberley and its Diamond Mines see

1869 when Jews first started to arrive. Washing and sorting diamonds by the river in the very early days about

1871:Photograph taken from Colesberg Kopje (the original name for Kimberley Mine) looking down and towards the sprawling mining Camp at Voruitzicht, that became Kimberley. This is the time when the first tentative Jewish community was formed – the Griqualand West Jewish Association. 

1873: Claims in the Kimberley Mine were being dug at different rates making the process difficult and dangerous

1873  Kimberley and the edge of the Kimberley Mine– the time when the first permanent community, the Griqualand West Hebrew Congregation, was established.

1888: Alfred Beit (the financial genius behind Rhodes amalgamation of the diamond output)’s office, near the Big Hole. This building was at one time owned by Dr Noel Kretzmar and his family still have some of the tiles and panelling from Beit’s personal chambers before the building was demolished. 

1902: This is a picture of the Memorial Road Synagogue soon after it was built.

1930s: Picture showing the huge hole in front of the miniscule skyline of Kimberley.  Note how low down the water was – as I remember it as a child – dizzily peering over the edge to try to see the water at the bottom.

1960s (approx) This picture above clearly shows the huge circumference of the hole in relation to the city behind. In the distrance is another ‘big hole’ of the De Beers Mine. 

2000s These  pictures show how the water has risen and the bright green colour – and how Kimberley has hardly changed in 50 years!