Erfurthuis, Stellenbosch

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The Erfurthuis, administrative headquarters of Stellenbosch Museum

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Erfurthuis, Stellenbosch

The history of the Erfurthuis can be traced back to the late 17th Century when the land on which the Erfurthuis stands formed part of the farm granted to Harmen Jansz Porgieter in 1683. In 1876 Johan Marthinus Beyers built the impressive double-story dwelling with the magnificent wood and wrought iron balcony rising to the roof on all sides of the house. It was named Erfurthuis after the town of Erfurt in Germany which was the birthplace of the ancestor of the Beyers family in South Africa .

By the time Jan Beyers and his wife Anna celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary on 27th September 1907, there were no less than 18 children and grandchildren to congratulate them. Mr Beyers was very fond of pottering around the garden and regularly complained about the manners of the 'modern' students who walked past his house without the courtesy of greeting him.

The year after Anna's death in 1911, the curator's of the Bloemhof School for Girls bought the house and converted it into 'een doelmatig Tehuis voor jonge Dames'. The conversion included the sub-division of many large rooms into smaller rooms to accommodate the pupils from the Bloemhof School just across the way from Erfurthuis. The central stairway which was recently removed probably dated from that period. After serving in its capacity for several generations, the house became the property of the Dutch Reformed Church Council who used the building as offices and storage until December 1988, when negotiations for its sale to the Trustees of the Stellenbosch Museum were concluded.

On 20 September 1991, Erfurthuis, now fully restored was officially opened by the Minister of the Interior, Mr Gene Louw, as the new administrative headquarters of the Stellenbosch Museum .

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