Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum

Forward to Pretoria and Hartebeespoort Dam

After visiting the Voortrekker Monument we departed for lunch at the Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum east of Pretoria. Our friends Peter and Doreen Thomas from Alberton, Yvonne Durling as well as Patsi's daughter Eri and her friend Dave joined us for lunch and a guided tour of the museum. We had a wonderful meal, lots of laughter and the cameras clicked all the time!! Peter made sure that he took enough photos of our American guests' first impressions of traditional South African "Boere" culture and cuisine.  

The Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum is situated about 40km east of Pretoria on the farm Kaalfontein. The features of this  venue includes and exhibition centre with the largest selection of farm implements and vehicles of  yesteryear in South Africa and depicts the history and development of agriculture in our country. Picnic spots and a caravan park are available.

Tractor at the entrance to the WIlem Prinsloo Museum

The gardens provide picnic spots under shady trees

Horses on their way to the stables

The house at Kaalfontein

The homestead and the farmyard dates from the 1880's. Attractions to the farm include demonstrations and guided tours as well as learning opportunities for outcomes-based educational programmes.

Statue of oxen bearing the yoke

Our group before lunch

"Tant Miertjie se kombuis" (Aunt Miertjie's Kitchen serves traditional meals and a bottle of Mampoer or witblits can be bought at "Tant Kotie se Winkel (Aunt Kotie's shop). 

Group fltr: Doreen Thomas, Donna, Dave, Erika, Wia, Jo, Rose and Patsi

Throughout the year school groups visit the farm for eco-adventures. Various festivals, like a mampoerfees and a turksvyfees (Prickly pear festival) are presented to keep South African traditions live and thriving.

The following pictures show that the traditional lunch was enjoyed by all!!

Donna thinking "Yummy!"

Left: Donna liked the stewed green beans

Right:  Pat making sure that Donna is satisfied!

Donna and Patsi

Rose

Left: Rose down to serious business!

Right: Wia wondering how they like the food

Wia, Jo and Rose

Patsi and daughter Erika

Left: Patsi and Erika at the salad counter

Right: Desserts to pick and choose too

Wia and Jo

Left: Wia and Jo at mealtime

Right: Our tour guide with the group

Tour guide with the group

After lunch we waited a while for the guide to arrive to take us on a tour of the farmyard and the House Museum.

The farm Kaalfontein where the agricultural museum, is belonged to Mrs. Miertjie le Roux (ne้ Pinsloo) and three generations of ancestors. The Cultural History Museum purchased the adjacent farm that belonged to  Lang Hans Prinsloo in 1987. The Museum was inaugurated in March 1980.

The old farmyard was developed into a house museum where various heirlooms of the Prinsloo family is exhibited. The museum complex also houses conference facilities, picnic spots and  exhibition halls. Mampoer, witblits (two very potent almost 95% proof, alcoholic drinks) and liqueurs are still made (nowadays licenced and legal) in the old red copper still. The farm is managed privately and authentic methods are used to make products like candles, soap and other products acording to traditional methods. A (somewhat neglected) Ndebele hut, a dam for the geese and huge oak trees complete the tranquil picture of the farmyard.

The Main Museum Exhibits

Old wagon Left: Ox wagon

Right: The  group attentively listening to the guide who was very sympathetic and aware of our hearing needs.

Viewing the vehicles

Coach used during van Riebeeck Festival in 1952

Left: A coach used during the Van Riebeeck Festival in 1952 to commemorate the establishment of a refreshment post and the arrival of the first settlers in the  Cape.

Right: A Voortrekker wagon

Authentic Voortrekker wagon

Beer wagon

Left: A beer wagon

Right: A Farmall tractor like the one my dad used on our farm.

Farmall tractor

The farmyard

The stables

Left: Outbuildings on the farmyard  and the group on their way to the old farm house.

Right: Farm animals grazing unperturbed by visitors

A tranquil scene on the farm

We also have turkeys

Left: Two turkeys impressing the females in the pen.

Right: Geese eagerly following a farm worker to receive their supper.

Geese ready to get their supper

Colourful Nguni cattle

Left:  Nguni cattle (Picture from a photo taken in the Museum).

Right: The Ndebele hut showing the traditional decorations of the enclosure.

Ndebele enclosure

Guide demonstrating the making of raw hide thongs

The guide explaining how raw hide thongs were made and us looking on from the side sitting on one of those huge oak tree stumps.

Jo, Donna, Rose and Wia

The wagon shed

Left: The waenhuis (wagon shed) with the wagon that was used for transportation and to attend the Nagmaal (Communion church service) in Pretoria.

Right: A prickly pear field.

A prickly pear field

The House Museum

The house at Kaalfontein was already built when Willem Petrus Prinsloo (nick named Willem Wragtag) bought the farm in 1889. His son Lang Willem (Tall Willem) and his wife Cornelia lived there with their children Klein Lang Willem, Lang Hans and Anna. The interior of the house dates from 1920 and parts of it were gradually added since then. The last inhabitant of the house was Miertjie, granddaughter of Lang Willem. The family photos are hung in their original positions throughout the house.

Wood burning stove

Left: The wood-burning  stove in the kitchen was typical of a rural farmstead and is still used to bake biscuits today.

Right: The kitchen dresser was made after the Anglo Boer War and is used for storing food hence the mesh on the doors.

Kitchen dresser

Yellow wood dining room table

Left; The dining room furniture includes a yellow wood table and a tamboti riempie seat bench. The latter specially made with a high seat for the tall Prinsloos.

Right: The house organ survived the Anglo Boer War since it was in the Pretoria home of the Prinsloos at that time.

Lounge with house organ

Prinsloo wedding photograph

Left: The wedding photograph of of Klein Lang Willem Prinsloo and his wife Prinsiena

Right: Typical  prints that were popular at the time. The one on the left showing the "Broad and narrow way"

Pictures that were the fashion at the time

The main bedroom with wash stand

The bed in the main bedroom has a coir as well as a feather mattress (bulsak), feather pillows and an eiderdown. The wash stand was used in the bedroom since a bathroom was only built on later and the baby pram was used for Miertjie.

Bronze bed with eiderdown and feather matress ( bulsak)

Willempie's toy car

Right: The spare room was always kept ready for guests. The bedroom furniture dates from the 1930's.

Prinsiena's sewing table can also be seen in this room as well as a blue child's motor car that belonged to Miertjie's brother Willempie.

The guest bedroom

The "modern" bathroom

Left: The "luxury" bathroom was build on in 1945. The bath is  made of granolith. 

Right: Yvonne, Donna and Jo attentively listening to the guide.

Yvonne Durling with Donna and Jo

Guide with rag doll

Left:  A rag doll that belonged to the Prinsloo girls.

Right: An ox bladder that was inflated to serve as a foot ball to play with at ox slaughter time in the winter. Other toys that were shown included dolosse and a kakebeenwa as well as clay oxen.

 

Guide with ox bladder toy foot ball

The house also has  other rooms that are not open for the public at his time including a jonkmanskamer (son's bedroom) and the peddler's room that provided overnight accommodation to  peddlers tinsmiths or shearers. The front stoep was a favourite gathering place for friends and family. The flower garden is presently restored to its former layout. An attic that stretches the full length of the house can be entered from the outside as well as from inside the wagon shed. Dried fruit, nuts and other supplies were kept here. The orchard, where quince and pomegranate hedges can still be seen, provided fresh fruit for eating, bottling and the making of jam and preserves. 

Yvonne, Jo , Donna and Patsi with Rose in front

After the visit Yvonne went home with us to extend the meeting with our American guests. Needless to say the cameras were taken out once again...

Jo, Donna and Yvonne getting to know each other

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