Sep 21, 2011
Tales of Yonder Years
Visit Green Fountain Farm Resort today and you’ll find an excellently run establishment complete with mod-cons and perfectly landscaped gardens. But take a look back down the timeline of this historical farm and you’ll see that it was anything but cushy when the 1820 Settlers arrived here.
The British immigrants to whom this piece of land was allotted were the Wedderburns. Christopher Wedderburn and his son William were each granted 100 acres on Green Fountain, as promised, for shipping their families from Britain to South Africa to enhance this British colony. The Wedderburns farmed on this spot for 19 years before moving to a larger holding that could better accommodate the extraordinary farming success founded at Green Fountain.
Back in 1820, the wagon ride to Green Fountain from Algoa Bay (where their ships had anchored) took two weeks – now just a quick one-hour drive by car. What’s worse, there wasn’t the friendly reception that awaits guests to the farm these days. Instead, there was nothing. Absolutely nothing but beautifully green land. So the Wedderburns had to sleep in tents until they had completed building their own home, which they chose to construct near the fountain after which the farm was named. Once they had a thatch roof over their heads, the crops could be established. Mielies, pumpkins and potatoes flourished here, but Christopher soon realised that cattle breeding and dairy farming would prove more profitable, and his wife soon became known as the best producer of butter and cheese in the district.
But life wasn’t always peaceful on Green Fountain Farm. There were times when living on a newly established farm in the middle of what was predominantly still wild territory proved rather adventurous. These were the days when hyena, jackal, springbok and wildebeest still roamed freely. One night, the household awoke to the sound of trumpeting. Christopher, being a devout Christian, thought these were the heavenly trumpets announcing the end of the world. He gathered the entire family, read from the Bible and waited for something miraculous to occur, only to discover the following morning that it was a herd of elephants who had passed through the property, wreaking havoc with the mielie crops.
That was in the 1800s. Nowadays, angelic sounds such as these don’t come by that often. But, thanks to Green Fountain Farm Resort’s convenient location, the Addo Elephant Park is just a daytrip away.