This weekend I got the craving for ghost towns and, after yesterday’s article, I decided to reply with this one, which however only speaks of a particular place. I had found a lot of information around. So many that I couldn’t limit them to just one continent. After all, when you travel or organize a trip, ideas come up all the time.
Between history and legends
It seems that the name of this village goes back to a certain John Coleman, a hauler who during a sandstorm got stuck with his cart in front of what would later become the same day settlement. The translation of Kolmanskop from Afrikaans (Germanic language present in southern Africa) means Cape of Coleman, which would link the event to the name of the ghost town.
Back in 1908, when the railway between Luderitz and Ketmanshoop was built, Kolmanshop was just a small train station. It was around this time that a railway worker found a shiny stone in this area and brought it to his foreman. The latter, a certain August Stauch, was a spare-time mineralogist and had ordered his workers to bring him any particular stone they had found in the area. Established with his future business partner Sohnke Nissen (a mining engineer) that this first stone was a diamond, he secured the property by starting diamond mining for years to come.
Although the two new business partners hadn’t shouted the new discovery too much, the news soon spread and Kolmaskop became a favorite destination for adventurers and diamond seekers from all over the world. As early as 1911, electricity was supplied to Kolmaskop and a school, a casino, a theater and a bowling alley had been built. A hospital was also built which had the first X-ray machine in all of southern Africa which probably served to verify that the workers did not swallow the diamonds!
With the beginning of the First World War, in 1914 production in these areas was almost completely eliminated and with it the German era ended. Then in 1928, new sites were discovered south of Luderitz while here the mines were gradually running out. From 1938 they began to take away all the machinery and slowly Kolmanskop was abandoned, leaving room for the advance of the desert.
The last inhabitant left kolmaskop in the late 1950s