On 3 February 1488 Bartolomeu Dias became the first seafarer from Europe to sail into Mossel Bay. This was not only the sole source of fresh water on a long and hazardous journey for Dias and other early explorers, but also the first port where they could communicate by means of letters left in the now historical Post Office Tree.
The arrival of Barolomeu Dias was witnessed by a group of people who had inhabited this area for a long time - the Khoi-San. It would be almost a decade later before friendly bartering for cattle would occur between these hunters, gatherers and herders and Vasco da Gama - the beginning of an harmonious lifestyle that has now spanned centuries.
Mossel Bay owes its origin and growth to the seafaring trade. Even as settlers moved into the territory and farming became a viable way of life, trade revolved around the exporting of local proudcts such as wheat. The granary was the starting point of growth in the town, and a contributing factor to the expansion of the harbour.
The history of steam trains in South Africa is closely linked to Mossel Bay. The last major privately owned and operated railway in South Africa ran from Worcester to Ashton and to Voorbaai near Mossel Bay.
After the completion of the Gouritz Bridge in 1931, all the old NCCR Carratt stalwarts were replaced with Class 14Cs. The 14Cs became the sole power on the line until, from 1947, they were replaced by the GEAS. These were only supplanted by GMAs in 1975 to Mossel Bay and beyond.
Mossel Bay has become a centre for restoring and maintaining steam locomotives of all calsses on the South African rail network.