Piet and Susanna Steenkamp were walking their dogs along the Bushman’s River Mouth when they saw a unique piece of metal on the beach; research showed they found a little piece of history!
Eastern Cape, South Africa (11 May 2021) – Piet and Susanna Steenkamp made a historical discovery after a heavy storm lashed their small coastal village of Boesmansriviermond (Bushman’s River Mouth) in April.
The couple were walking their dogs along the beach when Susanna spotted a yellow piece of metal. Piet assisted her in clearing it, and they saw it had punch marks, crude nails and a symbol embedded in metal. They took it home, and Susanna started searching for information related to the piece.
Her research led her to the Industriemuseum Kupfermühle, a museum in Germany on the Danish border that displays industrial history and artefacts. She emailed the team a description of the find and asked for assistance in identifying it.
They were able to confirm that the stamp on the metal was done during the 1880s. This has led everyone to believe that the piece of metal may have been from the Volo Shipwreck in 1896. The Volo had been built in Norway and took its final voyage from Sweden, captained by Captain Olsen. According to Wikipedia records, the Captain estimated that they were 200 miles from the shore of Africa, but the next day found the ship close to rocks. The ship struck a rock, was holed and eventually washed up at the Bushman’s River Mouth.
The wreckage was eventually stripped, with the majority being used to build homes and the memorable artefacts housed in a museum nearby. And as they say, the rest became history.
Susanna has been chatting back and forth with the team at Industriemuseum Kupfermühle and has offered to donate the historical piece to their museum. The piece is incredibly unique and will be one-of-a-kind at the museum. The curator has expressed her pure excitement at this incredible find.
The couple is happy to reunite this piece of history with others like it and hope that when the pandemic is over, to visit the museum and see their find on display.