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History of Deep South

History of Deep South

Welcome to the Deep South.

Renowned for our natural “laid back”, friendly and hospitable atmosphere and lifestyle with beautiful breathe taking views and a wonderful climate.

The Deep South is rich in fynbos flora and is an excellent destination to get in touch with nature, with over fifty species of birds spotted in the area. We also have the wonderful presence of the beautiful majestic whales that can be spotted especially in September and October. Not to mention the Silvermine River Wetlands homing the endangered Leopard Toads who annually emerge in August to breed. This area definitely embraces nature and has a mythical atmosphere of it’s own.

For those sports enthusiasts we have many societies, associations and sports clubs. This includes the prestigious Clovelly Country Club, offering not only Golf but Bowls and Tennis as well. The beach sports facilities for Hobie Cat Rides and Kayaking. And of course “surfer’s Corner” offering the perfect right hand breaks for surfers.

The Deep South hosts an excellent selection of shopping and dining opportunities with three principal shopping nodes in the southern peninsula, namely, Longbeach Mall, Fish Hoek Shopping District and Valyland. The area also boasts many convenient, cosy and wonderful restaurants within close proximity to the shoreline.

The Beach
Fish Hoek beach is a wide stretch of beach approximately 1.5 kilometers long, with a welcoming children’s park, convenient parking and a restaurant right on the beach, making it an ideal summer stop for those hot summer days. This beach is so conveniently positioned that it is protected from stronger currents, making it a safe beach for surfing and swimming.

Fish Hoek beach also sports a scenic catwalk, namely Jagger’s walk (named after the first Mayor of Fish Hoek) which runs past magnificent rock pools on the southern side of the bay. We have shark spotters on duty especially during the summer months during tourist season as well as life a life saving club.

General History
The valley initially used to be a sea passage that separated the Cape peninsula into northern and southern islands. The valley is generally sandy and made up of Cape Granite. In the past the rotted granite was mined for pockets of the mineral kaolinite, which was used to make ceramic goods such as hand basins and tubs.

Peers Cave
Officially declared a National Monument in January 1941.
Peers Cave is situated above the Silverglades sports field above 19th avenue. It is a short climb above the dunes and is well worth the effort with the beautiful views across the peninsula to both oceans from across the valley. It was named after Victor Peers and his son. Oriniginally the cave was known as Schildersgat and later become known as Peers Cave after Victor Peers and his son’s discovery of many stone tools and the remains of nine people, one of which became famous for having the largest skeletal brain area of its age found up until that time, it has been dated 12 000 years old.

Fish Hoek beach was initially used as an informal basis for whaling and fishing up until 1868 when whaling operations were closed for whaling. Nowadays you can see whales in the bay as early as June in the year. `the beach is still used for “trek fishing”.

Fish Hoek’s Crown Land was first granted to Andries Bruins in 1818 and sold several times before being bought by Hester Sophia de Kock in 1883. Hester Sophia De Kock was a spinster of 51 years of age, she married a local farmer in 1901 named Jacob Isaac de Villiers who came to live with her on her farm.

Although Hester farmed wheat and vegetables she also started providing accommodation for people who wanted to stay in Fish Hoek. This is how she became the first tourist entrepreneur in Fish Hoek. Realizing that Fish Hoek was becoming popular she left instructions in her will to have the land surveyed and sold as building plots. One of the clauses left in Hester’s will was that there was to be no liquor stores established in Fish Hoek. The Grant of the land also stated there should be no public winehouse, which was carried over to the new town.

In 1956 an association was formed called the “Defenders of Fish Hoek” who succeeded in having the Act amended so that no further applications would be allowed. Constitution of the Act fell away after consultation with the local Magistrate was held and residents voted for bar and restaurant licenses only.

The first land was sold in 1918 which was also when Fish Hoek was laid out as a township. The oldest house on the bay is named “Uitkyk” and was bought as a fisherman’s cottage in 1918 by the Mossop family of Mossop Leathers. Fish Hoek was initially a variety of holiday cottages which subsequently changed to a more permanent community due to there being a good train service at the time, it became a more permanent community. In 1940 Fish Hoek was big enough to be declared a municipality and was administered by the Town Council until 1996.

Hester and Isaac de Villiers along with other members of their family are buried in a small graveyard next to the NG Kerk (Dutch reformed Church) on Kommetjie main road in Fish Hoek. The farmhouse subsequently became a hotel near to the railway crossing on the Homestead Naval Mess. Sadly in 1947 the original building burned down.

Simon’s Town
A beautiful village situated close to Fish Hoek where a world famous African penguin colony have found home on Boulders Beach. These endearing black and white birds are highly endangered numbering around only 3000. These intriguing creatures have made home on not only Boulders Beach but Foxy beach as well which is interconnected to Boulders Beach. These little fellows are definitely worth visiting.

History of Imhoff Farm
The Directors of the Dutch East India Company admitted defeat to mother nature in 1741. In order to save their ships from the coastal barrage the put halt to anchorage at Table Bay. Choosing the new and safer destination at Simon’s Bay. Sourcing vital Supplies in this less than perfect alternative would take a full four days work. Mr Baron Gustav Wilhelm van Imhoff, the then Commissioner Extra-ordinaire ordered construction of the Simon’s Bay refreshment station in 1743, his mandate was to cultivate the lands in Fish Hoek and Noordhoek valleys.

Widow Christina Rousseau also supplied the ships from her farm Zwaansweide in order to aid in the alleviation of the problems of supplying fresh produce.

Baron van Imhoff was so impressed by Christina Rousseau’s efforts that he awarded her a gift of land near to Slangkop ridge, which encompassed the lands now claimed by Kommetjie and Ocean Veiw, which is now known as Imhoff’s Gift.

The Deep south has such a diverse range of activities and wonderful historic places of attraction to visit and participate in, including shark-cage diving, abseiling, wildlife safari’s as well as our local museums, to name a few.

Not only is the Deep South a wonderful tourist and holiday attraction but it is also a community by every meaning of the word.

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