History of De Oude Opstal

According to an article by Anna Minnar-Vos that was published in Die Huisvrou (the Housewife) in October 1974 1, the house dated back to before the founding of the town in 1853 as it was already known under the name De Oude Opstal (the old farmhouse) at that time. It was one of only two houses that were indicated on the first map of the town in 1853.

This house was situated on the banks of the Hoops River and was included under the section council of Robertson before it was incorporated by the municipality. Who the first owner of the beautiful old Dutch house was, is not known. Looking at the gable of the house it can be dated back to the beginning of 19th century as in 1853 it was already known as the old farmhouse.

In February 1945 the house was auctioned and it was bought by a young businessman, Johan de Jong for the amount of R2400. With a few helpers and a lot of faith he started to renovate the ruined house. On one of glass panes of the window the name P G Roos was scratched out with a diamond. According to town records he was ‘hounded out of town’ in 1867 after he misbehaved himself.

This relates also to the question - was De Oude Opstal haunted? According to Mr. De Jong, he thought it did. Even he didn’t believe in ghosts, but some strange things did happen, like doors and windows rattling. He thought about an old lady that died in the house and about Mr P G Roos that carved his name into a window pane. This is still visible today. It was later established that the rattling was caused by the train when passing through Robertson. Whatever might have happened in these early days, we the current owners live a very happy life in De Oude Opstal and some of these mysteries will most probably stay forever.

1  Full article available from the current owners.