Avril Reid

A short distance from the modern Fourways CBD lies a highly significant gem from another era... an old house that once belonged to the Van der Walt brothers who farmed watermelons in the area.

In the early 1990s the Sandton Historical Association, with expert guidance from Professional Land Surveyor Werner Kirchhoff hoped to erect a Beacon monument to mark the boundary line between two of Sandton's original farms. Although the initiative did not get past the planning stage, the vision for the project was documented in an excellent article written by Avril Reid and Kirchhoff. Below are a few extracts from the article (SHA's 1993 annual magazine) revealing some fascinating history about beacons and boundaries.

A few years ago Mushroom Farm Park in Sandton Central was used by the Bombela Consortium to access the Gautrain Tunnel during construction. As soon as the work was completed the company rehabilitated the green space and today it is a phenomenal resource for the Sandton community as well as many local and international visitors. Many people have asked about the name and want to know if there was ever a mushroom farm in Sandton Central.

Norscot Manor lies to the north of Sandton, west of the William Nicol Drive and just north of the N1 Motorway. The home of the Eriksen family until 1982, Norscot now belongs to Sandton who have developed it as a community centre to serve their northern suburbs, and have already made one wing into a Public Library. Norscot was built in 1936 on a scale few could afford today and was ideally suited to lavish entertaining as well as being the quiet secluded home the Eriksen's wanted.

Below are a few edited excerpts from an article on the early history of Tara compiled by Avril Read from the Sandton Historical Association. They appeared in the Association's 1987 journal.

Subscribe to Avril Reid