A Whale of a Heritage

In celebration of Heritage Day in September, we looked to finding out a bit of history of our little corner of paradise.  Alan Lindner, a local resident and historian, shares some Noordhoek trivia with us.

Noordhoek became of significance to the VOC as a cattle station in 1690. Its role was vegetable and cattle farming to resupply their ships calling at Simon's Town. It continued to be a farming area until the market for small scale operations declined in the 1980s. At this point, small producers could no longer compete against national suppliers, resulting in land being sold off as residential lots interspersed with leisure and hospitality developments. There are a few exceptions and a handful of small producers remain. Horse breeding and riding stables are now an important feature.

Noordhoek Historical Trivia

This list is sequenced from the Sunnydale entrance to Noordhoek thence via Village Lane to Avondrust Circle exiting on Beach Road.

1. Boerewors made from a recipe conceived by Mrs Irene Louw, wife of the late Buller Louw, and mother of Jeff Louw of former Houmoed Farm (1934 - 1999), can still be bought in Sun Valley. The tomato jam and onion recipe dates back to 1954. The clue to where to buy the wors is the family name "de Souza". (Jeff and Sally Louw and the De Sousa family).

2. The de Stadlers of  the former next-door farm, Poespaskraal, wrote up a recipe book in which there is a farm loaf recipe.  Note: This local bread recipe c.1870, will feature as part of a baking challenge for children in the historical walk booklet "Footloose in Noordhoek". (Trish Wood).

3. Present-day Lake Michelle was developed on a salt pan which was once used as a racing track in summer. Pat Gourlay, a builder from Sleepy Hollow Lane in Noordhoek and father of Sean Gourlay, raced his TS260 Suzuki motorycle on this track in the 1960s (Derek Stuart Findlay and Sean Gourlay).

4. One of the sites of forced removals is the de-commissioned waste disposal site, the entrance to which was at the junction of  Main Road and the entrance to Lake Michelle. The "tip" as it was named, extended in the direction of Katzenellenbogen Road.

5.  Katzenellenbogen Road is one of five roads in Noordhoek  named after the bastions at Castle of Good Hope. Note: can  you find the other four roads on a street map?

6. One of the owners of the former shop and cottage at the corner of Main Road and Kenali Crescent was Mr Silverstein. He and Mrs Silverstein were the most gracious people one could meet and they stocked absolutely everything that the local community could wish for! (Peter Truter).

7. The Star of David is an architectural feature on of the gable of the former shop building (location of the present- day vet) and is no doubt attributed to him (Jayson Orton and Peter Truter).

8. Kenali Crescent was named after Ken and Alison Bell who lived nearby in the house they bought from Mr Walton, the Post Master during the 1950s/1960s. Ken Bell was in the construction industry and he had a business relationship with Sean Gourlay. (Peter Truter and Sean Gourlay).

9. Dassenheuwel Farmhouse (c.1800) at present day Chapman's Peak Caravan Park is the most architecturally significant building in Noordhoek. (Hans Fransen).

10. According to a VOC map dated 1806,  the area just east of the junction of present-day Main Road and Silvermine Road may have been the site of a VOC battery. (VOC map via Malcolm Cobern)

11. According to a land survey chart, a whale bone was once used to demarcate the south western boundary of a section of Good Hoop Farm 934.

12. Village Lane and Avondrust Circle were once the main road to Chapman’s Peak Drive.

13. Avondrust Circle and Avondrust Lane take their names from Avondrust Farm, initially owned by Albert and Shuckbrough Huskisson (Mike Walker).

14. Jan Bruins, a farmer in present-day Newlands, took ownership of De Goede Hoop in 1765, following the death of the first grantee (1743) Christina Rossouw nee Diemer. At the time, he owned Poespaskraal. A ceramic tile mural commemorating her grant is displayed at the old post office in Village Lane. Note. For interest, find the two tiles which have been incorrectly placed!.

15. The ruins of the first farmhouse in Noordhoek and its outbuildings c.1770 have not been located. They may still exist.

16. A subsequent owner of the farm was Alexander Hare. In 1824 his assets included 50 000 vines, 16 breeding horses and 10 riding horses (Malcolm Cobern).

17. Hare is credited with renaming the farm "Noordhoek". (Gawie Fagan).

18. Sir Drummond Chaplin lived in a mansion located higher up in the Noordhoek bowl. His former estate is the core of the only Provincial Heritage Site in Noordhoek. Chaplin was once Prime Minister of Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). The rare and endangered Zambian Barbet (Lybius chaplini) is named in his honour. (Bird Life International).

19. One of the first accommodation establishments in Noordhoek is located in Avondrust Lane. It was developed from old farm out-buildings. Horse hair and mud was used in the construction of some of the buildings (Roni Finlay and Derek Turner).

20. The residence on Sleepy Hollow Farm house was originally developed from a restored potato-storage barn built circa 1840 (Peter Truter).

21. In the 1960s, local resident Jan Hesterman’s company “The Pied Pipers” was hired to exterminate the rats at Sleepy Hollow Farm. The rats were thriving on the pellets of chicken feed which was, in those days, delivered in hessian sacks. More than 400 rats, ranging in size from large cats to tiny baby rats were exterminated in one morning. (Peter Truter).

22. Noordhoek's second Mink Farm was located on Sleepy Hollow Farm, after the cessation there of chicken and rabbit farming. (Peter Truter).

23. Greenacres, the demolished building at 16 Beach Road was the site office for the Engineer assigned to the construction of Chapman's Peak Drive. It was later a very popular tea room named The Chapman’s Peak Tearoom. Trish Wood, owner of Poespaskraal Homestead (aka now as Sunnydale Homestead) recalls how as a teenager in the 1960s she would horse ride across the valley (from present-day Sun Valley) via the salt pan (ie from south to north) on weekends to relish an ice cream (Roni Finlay, Sue Fourie, Trish Wood and Peter Truter).

24. The first estate agency to operate in Noordhoek was owned by Geoffrey Seeff, founding owner of present-day Seeff Properties. His first Resident Agent was Audrey Truter whose husband Barry owned Sleep Hollow Farm (Roni Findlay and Peter Truter).

Acknowledgements: thanks to Jayson Orton and Peter Truter for assisting me to cobble this piece together.

Principle sources, where known, are shown in parenthesis.

(Image source: www.chapmanspeak.co.za)