Did you know that Early Stone Age tools dating back 500 000 years ago have been found on Melville Koppies? The koppies also has more recent evidence of Tswana /Sotho people who lived on the koppies and smelted iron up until 150 years ago.
Exploring the Melville Koppies Cave (The Heritage Portal)
In 1887 the Geldenhuys brothers bought a portion of the farm, Braamfontein. The farm stretched from Market Street in the CBD, north to Rosebank and Victory Park, east to Oxford Road and west to the edge of Westdene. You can still see evidence of their unsuccessful attempts to find gold on Melville Koppies.
Old photo of the Emmarentia Farmhouse
But what do we know about Emmarentia’s more recent history?
John Ayres was 76 years old and living in Westdene when he recalled some of his boyhood memories of living as a small boy on Geldenhuys’s farm in Emmarentia in the 1920s and ‘30s. (NMT September 2002). “Aeroplanes landed and took off at the intersection of Muirfield and Marico Roads,” and he and his dog “loved to play in the pea fields” (Roosevelt Park) while watching the many vultures circle ‘Aasvoelkop’, now known as Northcliff.
Northcliff Hill 'Then and Now'
Emmarentia was once a ‘whites only’ suburb with a synagogue that served the needs of a large Jewish community. Now the mosque is bigger than the synagogue, and the suburb is diverse.
We’d like to hear those long ago stories and the more recent ones that have changed the face of our suburb. If you’d like to share your stories and/or your photos or help us gather those stories, please email email@example.com, or write us a letter at PO Box 84582, Greenside, 2034.
Emmarentia Dam (The Heritage Portal)