The Strand History (Part One)

The History of The Strand (Part 0ne)

(Special word of thanks to Beryl, who sent me a copy of this facinating article. I'm still awaiting the details of the author)

The first settler in the area which later became known as Mosterd's Bay or Hottentots Holland Strand or Somerset West Strand and, more recently, the Strand, was a Huguenot, David du Buisson, who had been tutor at Drakenstein to the children of Pierre Joubert, another Huguenot.
In 1707 du Buisson married Claudina, daughter of Pierre Lombard, also a Huguenot. Claudina herself had been born in the Colony and was seventeen years old at the time of her marriage. Claudina and David du Buisson's loan farm was bounded on the north by the Lourens River, on the east by Philip Morkel's farm Onverwacht and on the south by the sea itself. It was known as Vlooibaai.

On 9 May 1717, it was recorded in the Company Journal that 'the farmer, David du Buisson, living in the Hottentots Holland' had been attacked in his house by fugitive slaves who inflicted on him 'seven or eight wounds'. He managed to escape, however, with his wife and children. His house was ransacked and food, ammunition and firearms were stolen.

In 1722 du Buisson died, Vlooibaai being then granted in freehold to his widow. She soon re-married and, on the death of her second husband, Vlooibaai was purchased by Olof de Wet. In 1748 it was bought by Philip Morkel's widow, Catharina Pasman, who left it to her son, Willem, together with Onverwacht and Voorburg.

Thus at this time the Morkel family owned virtually all the land from the sea running up the east bank of the Lourens River as far north as Morgenster and eastwards to the boundaries of the farms de Fortuin and Gustrouw, probably not far short of 5 000 morgen.

It is uncertain when the name Mosterd's Bay first came into use, or why, but the village which grew up at this spot was called Mosterd's Bay for many years. Two smaller inlets to the south were known as Schilpad and Hex. All these names have fallen into disuse, but the stretch of beach between what was Mosterd's Bay and the Lourens River mouth re­tains its original name, Melk Bay, so called from the milky whiteness of the surf there.

Mosterd's Bay, with its safe harbour, has been a fishing place from the earliest times. It is likely that the followers of Sheik Joseph, exiled on the farm Zandvliet near the mouth of the Eerste River at the end of the seventeeth century, ventured round the coast to this sheltered spot. The first Malay fishermen known to have settled at Mosterd's Bay were probably descendants of these people.

Fish was abundant, and it was recorded in the first half of the nineteenth century that the village of Stellenbosch was 'daily supplied with Fish . . . from Hottentots Holland . . . except when the south east wind blows rather strong and continually between the months of October and February [and] prevents the fishermen from putting out their boats'.

As early as 1829 there was a house of sorts at Mosterd's Bay. In a sale advertised to take place at the farm Meerlust, near the Eerste River, in that year 'half of the buildings of a strand house situated at Hottentots Holland, Mosterd Bay' was included among the items on offer.

Continued....The Strand History Part 2

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