Pioneer MuseumEnquire Now
+27 12 803 6086, +27 12 813 8006 www.ditsong.org.za
What is today known as the Pioneer Museum was started in 1848 by David Botha, a Cape farmer who settled on the farm Hartebeespoort (in present day Silverton). In 1874 a German immigrant, Hans Mundt, purchased the farm and turned it into a halfway station and inn for travellers to and from Pretoria.
In 1961, Mundt’s daughter-in-law donated the farm and the buildings to the municipality of Silverton. In 1975, the property was proclaimed the Pioneer Museum.
At the Pioneer Museum guides in period costume take visitors on tours of the farmhouse. It is an excellent example of settler architecture with its mud walls and cow dung floors. Visitors are shown demonstrations of activities that would have formed an essential part of everyday life on a frontier homestead: candle making, milking, milling and tanning.
Traditional food demonstrations are especially popular. They yield opportunities to sample bread baked in a clay oven, freshly churned butter, vetkoek and jam, roasted ground coffee, and kaiings. The latter is a snack similar to pork crackling, prepared over an open fire.
The farm has a collection of indigenous cattle, while poultry, goats, donkeys and peacocks roam the farmyard. There is an amphitheatre and a shop, and braai and picnic facilities are available.
On Saturday mornings the famous Boeremark (farmers market) draws scores of hungry shoppers. On national holidays the museum presents special programmes with traditional settler music, food and dancing for the public to enjoy.