THE FARM

4 Generations of Farming in Oudtshoorn

At Mooiplaas:

The Farm Was Bought In 1867 For 2 000 Pounds

The Guest House stands on Mooiplaas which was bought by Petrus Jacobus Keller in 1867. He was the grandchild of Joseph Kallen who was born in 1786 in Germany and immigrated in 1818 to South Africa. He was part of the “intelligence” in Germany and to protect his family he baptised his 10 children with the new surname of Keller meaning Cellar Master.

In 1867, the Standard Bank wanted to sell the farm south from the Oliphant’s River, named Zeekoegat (Hippo Pool), for 2 000 pounds and wanted a deposit of 500 pounds. Petrus Jacobus Keller and Mr Willy Hooper (who immigrated to South Africa in 1850 from Highgate in England) went into the deal 50/50 and divided the farm in two.

The original farm was called “Steyldrift” and it was divided into four farms for his surviving children.

A Successful Family Farming Business

Today the family business P.J.Keller and Sons Farming is doing extremely well.
Viljee and his brother Johan, have, with their father Petrus Jacobus Keller, 80% of the original Zeekoegat in their ownership again. Viljee Keller, owner of Mooiplaas Guest House, is the 6th generation Keller in South Africa and the 4th generation farming on Mooiplaas.

The farm is 3 000 hectares and consists of 1 500 breeding ostriches and ±12 000 slaughter ostriches We produce ±20 000 day old chicks per annum. Most of the food that is needed for the animals (ostriches, cattle) is produced on the farm. Per annum ±7 000 tons of alfalfa are produced, 1 000 tons of maize and on a farm next to the Fish river, 50 tons of Lucerne (alfalfa), as well. The farm next to the Fish river also produces 2,500 meat merino sheep and sell ±3 000 sheep per year.

Mooiplaas Guest House was originally the home of Viljee and Hanlie. In 1997 when the ostrich prices fell, they decided to start a Guest House and share the typical Oudtshoorn and Ostrich charm, with their friends and guests.

Today Mooiplaas Guest House is a very successful Guest House.

Mooiplaas is ‘n deel van die oorspronklike ou plaas “Steyldrift”.

Steyldrift het aan Piet Keller behoort. Hy was ‘n baie flukse boer en het baie vir sy Kerk en gemeenskap gedoen. Sy ou huis was eers in die lande, tussen die lusern. Die ou sipresbome (waar die huis eers gestaan het) kan nogsteeds gesien word. A.g.v borsmoeilikeheid, veral in die winter, wanneer die lande so ekstra klam was, het sy dokter hom toe aanbeveel om vir hom ‘n huis op ‘n droeër plek te bou.

Hy’t toe besluit om sy opstal op ‘n kliprandjie te bou, aan die teenoorgestelde kant van die pad. Dit is tot vandag toe nog ‘n pragtige ou huis wat ‘n mens mooi vanaf die teerpad kan sien.

Hy het drie seuns en ‘n dogter gehad. Na sy dood, moes hulle die groot ou plaas (Steyldrift) onder hulle verdeel. ‘n Landmeter het dit gedoen en so het Mooiplaas ontslaan. In 1962, toe jong Piet Keller egter sy trouvrou, Ronel Laubser ontmoet, moes daar ‘n huis vir hulle gebou word. Die huis is ook in die lande gebou en word vandag nog deur Piet Keller bewoon.

Hy en sy skoonpa, Jakob Eliza De Villiers Loubser, het toe saam besluit, dat die nuwe naam Mooiplaas moes wees. So het Mooiplaas ontstaan en groei dit nogsteeds.

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