Outeniqua Historical Society



 Klaarstroom: Combined with Simon van der Stel, SC.Local farmer Frans Steenkamp told of the wool-washing enterprise in the 1800s; Allen Duff explained the background and construction of the Meiringspoort pass; local guesthouse owner, Jeremy Wits-Hewison gave a talk, then led a walkabout, on the village’s houses and personalities of the village; Allen Duff spoke about brakdakke and Boer War events In the area. A lunch of roast lamb and veggies followed by malva pudding was enjoyed in the hotel’s historic dining room.

  See Archives: Outing photos



Covid-19 restrictions resulted in no events held for the year.


Covid-19 restrictions resulted in no events held for the year.


  • Tristan da Cunha & its Connection to the Southern Cap.Fascinating presentation by Jackie Haupt about a little known island and her husband’s family connections.
  • Outeniqua Mountains Area, Herold, Montagu Pass.Outing with talks by Allen Duff on the history of the interesting areas.
  • Old Roads between George and Knysna.Murray Douglas spoke about his research and the publication of his second book, titled “The Old Roads between George and Knysna”. This was followed by a presentation by Lynne Thompson of her reminiscences of a five day flight from Lourenco Marques to London in 1961.
  • Van Wyksdorp & Watermill Farm
    Outing to Van Wyksdorp with a visit to the Watermill Farm to view the mill and millers cottage built in 1890s, beautifully restored.Some returned home via Cloete Pass and Herbertsdale, others went viathe Rooiberg Pass and Oudtshoorn back to George.
  • Odds and Sods from the Little Karoo
    “Historical odds and sods from the Little Karoo” and “Buildings”, an integral part of Southern Cape History and Heritage”. Talk by Allen Duff illustrated by images picking up the small details, often missed.
  • More Odds & Sods and WW1 Anzac troops
    A talk by Allen Duff which featured the buildings on the Watermill Farm in the small village of Van Wyksdorp at the bottom of the Rooiberg Pass.This was followed by amazing images of the departure of the Australian
    and New Zealand (Anzac) troops from Australia to Europe at the start of WW1.



  • Snapshots of the Forgotten of WW1
    Presentation by Lynne Thompson of the part played by South Africans, both black and white, in German West and East Africa, Palestine and France
  • Herold’s bay Beach resort, Stella Maris Chapel
    Outing with talk by Allen Duff on development of holiday towns and a talk by Mel Walton of her memories of Herold’s Bay and the Chapel
  • Boer War Ghosts in the Southern Cape
    Power Point presentation by Allen Duff
  • Mollendorf Treasure – Fact or Myth?
    Presentation by Lynne Thompson.  A 200-year old legend vs the real story and a recently discovered link to the first illustrator of Cango Caves.
  • Mossel Bay – a Photographic History
    Interesting Presentation by Jackie Haupt
  • Hoekwil Big Tree; Bergplaas Poor Whites; Hoogekraal River Valley; Broughton House at Ruigtevlei
    Outing with stops at a number of points of interest with talks by Allen Duff and Philip Caveney


  • Knysna Cameos
    Presentation by Knysna Historical Society Chair, Philip Caveney
  • Little Karoo Charms
    Trip led by Allen Duff to Calitzdorp, Seweweekspoort and Bosluiskloof with fascinating talks.
  • “The Hessaqua”
    Presentation by Prof Mike de Jongh, author of the book and a prominent anthropologist.  Best known for his “Karretjie People of the Great Karoo”
  • Millwood
    Combined outing of the Outeniqua & Knysna Historical Societies.  Informative and interesting historical talks, and two short walkabouts.
  • Rosemoor & Southern Cape Cottages
    Presentation by Lynne Thompson on the founding and development of the first Coloured Township in George.   Allen Duff followed with a talk on the historic landscape in terms of the Cottages of the Southern Cape.
  • De Groote Wagen Weg
    Drive from Mossel Bay to Eight Bells with stops for talks on the significance of the old wagon road and points of interest by Allen Duff.


  • Woodifield
    Outing with talk by Hugo Leggatt on Pampoenkraal, Kaaimansgat and the route to the east.  A walk along the old wagon road to view Kaaiman’s River followed by a talk on the Woodifield buildings and associated personalities.
  • George – Knysna road before 7 Passes
    Murray Douglas gave a presentation on the difficult old route to Knysna.
  • Bland’s Drift, Albertinia Museum & Gouritz River Mouth
    Allen Duff led an outing and brought to life the early history of the old roads and travellers stops and river crossings. The Museum at Albertinia had extremely interesting displays and a Guiness Book of Records knitted jersey of enormous proportions. The outing concluded with a talk at Gouritz on some coastal history.
  • Kruisaar Hop Gardens, Waboomskraal
    The outing commenced with a talk on the history of hop growing in the area, going back to 1828, by Lynne Thompson.  Gerrie Brits with 30 years service at SABS and many awards, was an entertaining guide to the fascinating story of his trials to produce the best strains of hops for the George climate and the only area in Africa where hops can be grown commercially.  We were led through all the processes from plantings to the drying kiln.


  • Blanco
    An informative and interesting narrative by Lynne Thompson made for a number of unexpected surprises on a tour of Blanco, starting with the original road and drifts.  Visits to old homes and interesting homeowners and a picnic at Witfontein where Kathy Schultz gave the history of slaves and the intricacies of land claims.
  • French Castaways in the Southern Cape
    Presentation by Hugo Leggatt in an attempt to reconstruct the story of 9 French sailors who were stranded in Algoa Bay in 1752 and their epic walk to Cape Town.  Followed by a presentation by Allen Duff on two Boer War incidents: The Curse on Chancery Hall and conflicting Evidence in the Baviaansrivierkloof.
  • Matjiesvlei, Gamka River
    Ben and Selma Nel, fourth generation owners of the farm, gave talks on the history of the restored Post Office where the office has been reconstructed and there is a collection of postal artefacts, including a switchboard.
  • Oakhurst
    The outing was hosted by the owner, Karen Crowther.  Allen Duff gave a talk on travelling the Seven passes Route 100 years ago.  All walked to the cemetery in the Church grounds, where Hugo Leggatt spoke of the early history and fortunes of the Dumbleton clan.  Another walk down to the mill where Jake Crowther gave a talk of the history of the mill.  Back in the gardens of the house, Murray Douglas gave a talk on the later history of Oakhurst and the family.
  • Evening of Talks
    Herbert Pienaar gave a most entertaining presentation on the history of the Confederate raider, the Alabama.  Lynne Thompson followed with short illustrated talks on the info board for the History of the Water Supply in George in the Botanical Gardens and the Bicentenary of the Drostdy building ending with a presentation of Persuasive Advertisements.
  • Some Historical Cameos
    Allen Duff gave an interesting presentation on the ANZAC entry into World War 1 and the opening of a new ANZAC museum in Western Australia.


  • William Burchell
    Event to acknowledge the bicentenary of Burchell’s visit to George, organized by Philip Caveney, assisted by Lynne Thompson. Stanley Caveney (from Canada) and Roger Stewart (from Cape Town), both knowledgeable academics were the speakers who presented fascinating talks to commemorate of the life and times of naturalist and explorer William John Burchell.  After lunch, a bust of Burchell was unveiled by the speakers in the Botanical Gardens.
  • Prince Albert
    The Museum was the venue for a talk by Derek Thomas on the town’s development of a heritage register.  Lydia Barrella, led a tour of some of the most interesting buildings in the town.  Ailsa Tudhope followed with tales of the town’s past characters and events in St John’s Church.
  • “Silver is Money” & Old houses
    Herbert Pienaar gave a fascinating presentation on this topic, followed by Allen Duff’s presentation on old houses and cottages in the region.
  • Karoo Weekend
    Beginning at Ladismith Museum, visited Plathuis where the railway was destroyed in the 1981 flood.  Passed through the Prinsrivier basin and a visit to the site of the 1896 train disaster at Baviaans.  Overnighted at Laingsburg, a stop at the Bloedrivier blockhouse and on to Prince Albert where Ailsa Tudhope narrated old tales on a walk.
  • Ruigtevlei Outing
    Combined with Simon van der Stel Foundation. Philip Caveney gave a knowledgeable and interesting presentation on the past owners of Broughton House and Eastbrook.  At the Karatara causeway, Allen Duff spoke about Osborne and Hooper and their search for gold.
  • Show & Tell Evening
    Five members presented fascinating objects with a narrative which was both informative and enjoyable