The Fransie Pienaar Museum
tel/fax: +27 (0)23 5411 172 e-mail:
The cultural history museum in Prince
Albert depicts the history of the town and its environment.
The antiques and artifacts were collected largely by Fransie
Pienaar, but the collection is still growing, through donations from
past and present inhabitants of Prince Albert.
The Museum has a wide variety of displays including
|Information about Queen Victoria's consort, Prince Albert and a book of
his speeches presented to the village by Her Majesty. |
|A fascinating fossil exhibition based upon Roy Oosthuizen's collection|
|An extensive collection of Musical Instruments, Glass, Porcelain,
Earthenware and Paintings.|
|A delightful Bedroom filled with old fashioned furnishings and a Nursery
|A Gunroom with some fascinating weapons|
|Details of our Watermill History|
|A Medical Section depicting our doctors and the hospital's history|
|Displays about the construction of the Swartberg Pass, the history of
Gamkaskloof and Meiringspoort and our 1890's Gold Rush|
|We have some lovely Victorian clothing, needlework items and a kitchen
display to delight young and old alike.|
|Local artists, including Gawie Beukes and Outa Lappies are well
|Intricately carved woodwork by Piet Basson, local benefactor.|
|Our library/archive includes local diaries and valuable historical records
about the Central Karoo and the Swartberg.|
|In the grounds we have a horse-drawn hearse, a wagon and several carts,
various pieces of farm equipment, a winepress and beautiful gardens.|
|Our shop stocks a wide selection of books about the village and the
district, olive products and the Museum's own 'witblits'|
Entrance: R10 for adults, R2 for children, who must
be accompanied by an adult
Witblits - Moonshine
The Museum has its own distillery where 'witblits' is
produced in the
time-honoured manner. Hendrick Mostert, one of our former 'stokers' was born in Gamkaskloof
and wrote a book, in collaboration with Dr Jan van Elfen, about herbal
remedies and the use of witblits in the valley: Herbal
and Witblits can be bought at the Museum shop.
Botha, Jeremy Freemantle and Judy Maguire have taken over as our local
'stokers' to keep this special tradition alive.
Monday - Friday
09.30- 12.30 &
14.00 - 16.30
Sunday 10.30 - 11.30
Closed: Public Holidays
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of the Fransie Pienaar Museum
The Friends of the Museum are a group of Prince Albert
residents and Friends in other centres who support the activities of the Museum.
Some of the local members act as guides at the Museum and have undergone a
special training course so that they can show visitors around. Others assist
with exhibits and the archives, some established and assist in looking after the
If you would like to become a member and support the Fransie
Pienaar Museum please contact the curator at 023 5411 172.
membership fee: R40 per person per annum.
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Cultural Foundation co-ordinates various events during the year,
including the Witblits distilling day in March.
Prince Albert Cultural Foundation occasionally offers an outing on the third Saturday of
The topic might be of cultural, historical, pre-historical,
geological, musical, culinary, or botanical interest – or a combination of
several of the above! Locals can join the Foundation for R40 per person per
annum, children under 18 free! Enquiries: Judy Maguire 023
are most welcome to attend the outings, so if you are in Prince Albert join us to learn more about the village and the surrounding
district. A small charge will be made for adults, there is no charge for
children. Here are some of the activities which have taken place:
visit to Calitzdorp, port
capital and 'art throb' of the Klein Karoo - and en route, to
Kruisrivier to meet the resident artists in their studios|
|An outing to Wolwekraal with Sue and Richard Dean to explore the
veld and learn more about lithops and vygies.|
|A trip to Treintjiesrivier farm - to learn more about the geology
and explore a pair of Bushman factory sites.|
|Tierberg Hills: Patterns in the landscape
with Sue Dean: Soil and vegetation generated by geology,
animals, water and land use. Walking in the veld.|
illustrated talk on Digging and diving for diamonds in Angola,
followed by a soup and bread supper. John Begg |
|The Earliest Inhabitants of
the Southern Cape: illustrated talk by Judy Maguire: Fransie Pienaar
|All-day outing to the mission stations
of Amalienstein and Zoar then through Seweweekspoort to picnic on the far
side of the Gamkaskloof dam.|
|All day in Die Hel: A look at its history,
lifestyle, architecture & culture. |
visit to Rooikamp with Denise Ohlsen and Elizabeth
Lekay. Elizabeth spent her childhood in 'Rooikamp' and related many
fascinating stories about the former residents, their homes and gardens and
life there until the forced removals put an end to this vibrant area.
led a fascinating trip to the Bushman 'factory' site at
Tierberg. This sensitive area has yet to be scientifically surveyed and is
only open to special groups. The participants were privileged to see Bushman
paintings, sites where ostrich shell beads were made and the 'factory' area with it's stone shards and breathtaking view. A massacre
of over 100 Bushman took place here in the 1780's and a sense of the tragedy
was graphically evoked in John's narrative. Yet there is also a sense of
wonder and timelessness there - almost as if one could turn and see lithe,
barefoot figures slipping between the rocks to stalk the game on the plains
Travelling back in time on a trip to the fossil
beds near Fraserburg. Local geologist Albert Theron built a picture of the
development of the Great Karoo at stops en route to the fossil site.
to the marine fossil beds on
Frisgewagt where Judy Maguire threw light on the various types of fossils
and brought it home to us how privileged we were to have seen this
"keyhole in time".
Evenings of poetry and stories with
story-tellers Ailsa Tudhope and Poem Mooneys at Scholtzkloof.
The Graveyards ramble/Begraafplaas wandel
with Ailsa Tudhope and Mari du Toit who took participants
to four of the village's graveyards to hear tales about some of the
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The entire collection at the Fransie Pienaar Museum is based upon Fransie's
Born on Lammerkraal in 1897, Fransie was educated locally and then went to
Cape Town to study at the Sullivan College of Music. She returned to the
district to marry Giddy Pienaar and when her father died she and Giddy took over
Lammerkraal. Fransie was a magpie and she started collecting antiques and odds
and ends to the extent that when she and Giddy retired to Prince Albert in 1956
an entire room of their home was dedicated to her collection.
Being in town gave Fransie more opportunities to acquire "little things"
and soon she needed more room! The Dutch Reformed Church lent her a hall in
Devenish Street - which gave her more scope, but by 1972 she couldn't get
another thing into the hall. By now one of Fransie's sons-in-law, Frikkie
Allers was the mayor and he persuaded the local council to lend Fransie a house
in Kerkstraat to house the collection. On the day of the official opening she
gave everything to the people of Prince Albert.
Since then the collection has grown and has moved to its present premises in
the Haak family home which served the village as a hospital for some years.
was the unofficial curator for some years and enjoyed nothing more than showing
visitors round the building. She would provide musical entertainment on the
harmonium (bought in memory of her brother - who had died on the day Fransie
was born) or on her mouth organ. She died at the grand old age of 87 and is
gratefully remembered by one and all.