Sunday, May 19, 2024 - 00:00

We’re delighted to let you know that Prof Kathy Munroe of Johannesburg Heritage Foundation will be giving a talk on the people, homes and heritage of the suburb of Mountain View, at our upcoming Open Garden at Shepstone Gardens!

This is one of the city’s smallest suburbs laid out against a  prime Witwatersrand Ridge above Orange Grove. Sandwiched between Fairwood and Houghton, its history dates back to the early 20th century.   

It’s the story of Herbert Pappenfus, the visionary who saw the potential in a rocky unpromising hillside on the edges of the young town. He sold a dream of a country life in the city,  with easy town access via the new tram route on the main road linking Joburg and Pretoria. Here were panoramic views,  clean air, and a country lifestyle with cows, dogs and horses. Roads were tracks along the terraces.

The pioneering early Johannesburg architect, Hermann Kallenbach and his friend Mohandas Gandhi camped out on the ridge while Kallenbach built his home the Tents on Grove Road, and went on to design others in a vernacular tradition on Hope Road. Hermann planted the pepper trees, the oaks and the blue gums that flourish today. The diamond prospector and speculator, Percival Tracy knew he had arrived when he built his grand mansion Beauvais in 1907 on the prize panoramic view site at the top of the ridge (it is a house that can be seen from Sandton’s skyscrapers such as The Leonardo’s’  50th floor). The Orange Grove Hotel was a popular social magnet for over half a century.

Johannesburg has three of the shortest mountain passes in South Africa and one of them is up Sylvia Pass. This is a hidden gem of a suburb with a rich history, and characters who came to the Golden City in search of fame and fortune. 

The history of Shepstone Gardens and the creativity of the Rayner family is core to the making of the modern Mountain View. Kathy shares her research and her enthusiasm for Joburg heritage in this story.

  • 12 o’clock at the Tea Garden
  • Sunday 19th May
  • Gardens open from 9.30 am - 3 pm
  • R50 payable at the gate – credit card facilities
  • Free entry for children under 12
  • Shepstone Gardens, 12 Hope Rd, Mountain View
Events Exhibitions Tours
Thursday, May 16, 2024 - 08:59

Back to Notices

Disclaimer: Any views expressed by individuals and organisations are their own and do not in any way represent the views of The Heritage Portal.