SOUTHERMOST  - A Brief History


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Southermost, the first house in the town of L’Agulhas, was built in 1929 as a family beach home by Michiel van Breda. Van Breda was a descendent and namesake of the original Michiel van Breda of the historic farm Zoetendals Vallei in the Bredasdorp district. The old farmer owned large tracts of land in the southern Overberg and founded the town of Bredasdorp in 1838. Then in 1848, view from seasidewhen the urgent need for a lighthouse at Cape Agulhas arose, Van Breda generously made available a portion of his land for this purpose.

In the early 1940s the current Michiel van Breda sold Southermost to Pietie Albertyn, another well-known farmer in the district. Changing hands again in 1959, the house became the property of Freda Cowper. Freda and her husband, Tat (Arthur) Cowper were fruit farmers on Mazoe in the Ceres district at the time and used Southermost as their seaside holiday home. However, after their farmhouse on Mazoe was destroyed by the devastating Boland earthquake of 1969, they left the Ceres area and moved permanently to Southermost at Cape Agulhas.

Sadly, after fourteen very happy years at Southermost, Tat Cowper died in 1983, in his 97th year, and Freda followed him two years later aged 84. Ownership of Southermost then passed to their three daughters, Janda Maybank, Gill Fuller, and Meg Cowper-Lewis.

During the years 1986–1994 Janda was the resident carer of Southermost, and in 1996 Meg took over the restoration work. Both daughters have managed to retain the old-world charm and unique character of Southermost.

Operating for fifteen years now as a Bed & Breakfast establishment, Southermost B&B can accommodate five guests.  The accommodation is especially appealing to foreign visitors wishing to stay in an original and unusual Cape Overberg seaside home.

The rambling old beach house comprises in total 24 rooms, and exudes enormous character and atmosphere. With its unique and predominantly Greek architecture – Mediterranean courtyard and faded blue window frames – Southermost is strongly reminiscent of an Aegean coastal villa.

Now, under the auspices of the South African Heritage Resources Agency (SAHRA), Southermost is listed as an historic home, and remains the southernmost private home on the continent of Africa.

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