P W Vorster Museum in Middelburg (EC) & vicinity, Eastern Cape
The P W Vorster Museum is situated at the Grootfontein College of Education in Middelburg. The history of the farm goes as far back as 1781 where the Vorster and van der Walt families played an important role in its development.
The farm of Grootfontein was originally divided into two sections by a dry river bed serving as the boundary. The first owners of Grootfontein were Tjaart Hendrik Jacobus van der Walt and Nicolaas van der Walt. Hendrik van der Walt had a modest property where he made his living as a farmer. Nicolaas van der Walt built the first building that was considered a decent farmhouse in 1827. The beautiful farmhouse was renovated in 1887 when an impressive gable was added to the exterior of the building. The farm changed ownership a few times and passed through the hands of the van der Walt, Vorster and du Plessis families and Grootfontein gradually grew into its current size of 11418 hectares.
It is this farmhouse building that now houses the Museum and inside the Museum visitors will find an informative collection of old photographs and other information on the founding families. In 1903 the British Department of War purchased portions of the farm for a military and training camp so the Museum also exhibits memorabilia dating back to the military era.
After the Union of South Africa was established in 1910, the Cape Minister of Agriculture, Mr F S Malan, converted the farm into the current Agricultural School and Experimental Station.
Things to do and see
- Exhibit on the founding families of Grootfontein
- Old Photo’s & Portraits
- Farming Implements
- Farmhouse Utensils
- Antique Knick Knacks
- Military Memorabilia
- Post War & Farm Cemeteries
Entry is free of charge but the P W Vorster Museum can be visited by appointment only.
Please contact Elana Kitching on 049 842 1113 to make an appointment.
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