The history of High Street, Hermanus

Hermanus History Society

DAE: 21 JUNE 2021
TIME: 16.00 TO 17.00

Many members will have noticed the recent improvements made to High Street as part of the Municipality’s Renewal Programme for the town’s Central Business District. This presentation will trace the history of High Street from the first survey and sale of sites in 1874 to the present day.

Hermanus came into existence as Hermanuspietersfontein in 1855 and was centred around the Visbaai and the fishing activities. As a result, the earliest streets are to be found near the harbour: Harbour Road, Westcliff Road and Marine Drive. At the same time, the Cape Colonial administration built the road from Bot River to Hermanuspietersfontein and, in due course, extended it to Stanford (which existed before Hermanus) and, later, to Gansbaai. These four roads and the sea bound the oldest part of our town.

Within a few years, however, the settlement started to expand inland. The key streets were laid out parallel to Main Road. Long and Aberdeen Streets are parallel to Main Road running north-south, and High and Mitchell Street are parallel to Main Road as it runs west to east.

Sites in High Street became available in 1874, and many of the original setters bought property there. You will learn who they were, what they developed on their sites and their roles in early Hermanuspietersfontein society. Focus then shifts to the 1950s because much valuable information has come to light about who lived in High Street then and how the street looked then.

After a long decline in the late 20th century, plans were made to revive the CBD that included High Street. How this resulted in the work done in 2020 and 2021 is explained. High Street should set the tone for the revival of the old town.

Topic: Hermanus History Society
Time: Jun 21, 2021 4:00 PM

Meeting ID: 824 9754 2113
Passcode: 703154