Monthly Archives: December 2008

Matjiesfontein

 On the way to the Northern Cape we stopped at Matjiesfontein in the Karoo. A tiny Victorian village with a rich history.

The village was founded by James Douglas Logan in 1884. He was a dynamic and unorthodoxed man. Even his arrival in South Africa was unusual. Shipwrecked near Simonstown on his way to Australia he walked to Cape Town and was hired as a porter at the new Cape Town Railway Station. He managed to become station master at Cape Town and later District Superintendent in the Touws River area. There he resigned from the railways and bought his first hotel in Touws River.
When the opportunity arose to acquire a tin-shed and a huge area of land for just 400 pounds, he seized it very quickly. Why? Simply because it had a railway running through it!  He built his own still-surviving residence, Tweedside Lodge and established the Lord Milner Hotel.
When Colonel Schermbrucker declared that he had made a paradise in the desert, Logan modestly replied that “it was not that he had done so much in the Karoo but that others had done so little“.
The village was restored in 1970 and declared a National Historic Monument.

 The Lord Milner (done with Rotring pen)

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 Through the Karoo
Where we came from and where we’re going…

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Categories: Pen | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Groot Constantia

We went for a picnic at Groot Constantia. A lovely day spend with friends, sitting in the shade of big oak trees. We had a soccer match! And we walked around the beautiful gardens with our cameras like pro photographers.

I had to read a bit about Mr. Simon van der Stel, the original owner of the grounds. He was born in 1639, on a ship! his parents were on their way to Batavia from Mauritius.
He married Johanna Jacoba Six in 1663. But.. the quick tempered van der Stel did not get on with his wife, so his sister in law, Cornelia Six, accompanied him and his children to the Cape of Good Hope!
He founded Stellenbosch within a month of being in the Cape and in 1685 van der Stel received title to 891 morgen (about 2461 ha) ‘situated behind Table Mountain near the Steenberg’.
Today the entire estate is a national heritage and fully operational farm. The oldest wine farm in South Africa.

The Manor house (done in charcoal)

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…and the soccer game

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where did that ball go?

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Categories: Charcoal | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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