Cape Wheel offers Spectacular Views
The Hout Bay Museum takes you back in time
This museum is ideal for those wanting to learn about Hout Bay, the Village and its true heritage of the people. It focuses on forestry to mining and definitely what Hout Bay is famous for - its fishing.
The Hout Bay Museum was opened on 5th of April 1979, and for those who would like to discover more about the history of the area, this museum also has an exhibition on the early strandlopers (hunter gatherers), who lived in the Cape when the first Europeans landed, as well as memorabilia concerning the fishing industry in the early days.
Jimmy Steele, a retired official of the Museum’s Section, Department of Nature Conservation, had nurtured for many years the dream of founding a museum in Hout Bay. In 1975, a Cultural Arts Festival was held in the Bay. Apart from exhibitions by local craftsmen, musical and drama presentations, exhibitions on the history of Hout Bay were held - the Strandlopers, early Hout Bay residents, and the shipwrecks along our coast. This festival proved that Hout Bay had a fascinating history and it was important that a permanent home be found where all this information and artifacts belonging to our past could be preserved for the future.
Jimmy Steele was Chairman of the Festival Committee and at the Report Back Meeting at the end of the festival, it was proposed that he go ahead with negotiations to found a museum. With the backing of the Ratepayers Association he approached the Divisional Council of the Cape for the financial assistance and leased part of Kronendal School for the nominal fee of R1 per annum. The following chronology of dates and events portray the development of the museum.
11 July 1977. A grant of R8 500 per annum was finally agreed upon. In 1978, A report on how to renovate and develop the building suitable as a museum was drawn up by Mr E Hayden, Chief Technician for Museums. The Hout Bay/Llandudno Round Table undertook to alter and repair the building, which incidentally, had originally been built as a house for the Headmaster of Kronendal School.
August 1978. Pam Wormser was appointed as first Curator of the museum, and a special committee was appointed consisting of Jimmy Steele as Chairman; Dr R Borchers and Mrs E Bisschop as members of the committee.
1 September 1978. The first meeting was held. The initial task was to aim for Provincial recognition, then a Board of Trustees of six members would be appointed two to represent CPA, two the Divisional Council and two the subscribers to the museum.
25 October 1978. A lecture by Townley Johnson on the Strandlopers launched the appeal to start this Society. The museum’s application for membership to the South African Museums Association was approved.
At the end of 1978 the museum had a furnished office, showcases and a host of artefacts and memorabilia from the farms, wrecks of the immediate area fishing paraphernalia. The early days of the museum were spent in furnishing the museum. Mr & Mrs Fuller Gee, qualified landscape architects, designed the layout of the garden, but work on the garden only commenced in 1979 after the formal opening of the Museum on 5 April.
In November 1979 Provincial recognition was granted and the Museum was declared a Local History Museum. And now many years later the Hout Bay Museum continues to play an important role in education in hosting schools from all over the Peninsula. It holds exhibits and protects a wealth of information, records and photographs of local interest.
Book a guided tour with the Hout Bay Museum
For weekly guided nature walks in and around the surrounding mountains, you can contact the Hout Bay Museum for schedule times.
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