|In the early part of the nineteenth century, apart from fishermen's
huts and the military barracks, the only homes in Muizenberg were
a few scattered farmhouses, such as Weltevreden in Main Road, Lakeside.
In 1825 an inn called Farmer Peck's opened. This inn was famous for
its ham and eggs, and offered "excellent beds without any fleas!"
However, a letter that appeared in the South African Commercial
Advertiser in 1830 complained about the bad state of the road to
Simon's Town, which made it "impossible to proceed faster than
a foot's pace". By 1844 matters had improved, and the road
between Simon's Town and Cape Town was declared a main road, marked
In 1822 a momentous event occurred for False Bay - the railway
line, which for twenty years stopped at Wynberg, was extended to
Muizenberg. This was followed by an increase in building in the
Muizenberg area, with many seaside cottages arising. After the discovery
of gold on the Witwatersrand in 1886, the gold magnates started
to build their holiday houses in Muizenberg, and in 1895 the Muizenberg
Municipality was established. It merged with Kalk Bay in 1897. Muizenberg
now became the fashionable resort in the country. In April 1910
a library opened next to the Natale Labia, followed a year later
by the opening of the Muizenberg Post Office. In November 1911 the
first pavilion, a wooden one, was built, and on 27 December of the
same year the first official South African airmail was flown from
Kenilworth racecourse to Muizenberg.
Cecil John Rhodes spent a considerable time in Muizenberg, and
died in Rhodes Cottage. Rust and Vrede, which was to have been built
for Rhodes, was completed by Sir Abe Bailey, who lived in the house
until his death. Rudyard Kipling also spent several winters in Muizenberg.
Cape. Magnificent homes were built along Beach and Royal Roads,
among them Vergenoegd, designed by Herbert Baker for Gardner Williams,
the general manager of De Beers Consolidated Mines. Herbert Baker
built his own seaside cottage, Sandhills, on Beach Road. In June
1913 a new railway station was built in Muizenberg, as well as several
hotels. In 1920 Boyes Drive was completed, and in 1929 a new pavilion
was opened, which included a theatre seating nine hundred people.
The amusements in Muizenberg, along with the glorious beach, were
unparalled along the South African coastline.