Steeped in history and snapshots into the past, Smuts House Museum offers an interesting and informative day out just outside of Johannesburg. Having been the family home of General JC Smuts, his wife Isie, and their six children, the museum now seeks to faithfully repsresent the lifestyle and multifaceted career of one of South Africa’s most prominent statesmen while promoting the holistic vision that he expounded in his life and writings.
An ode to history
Having worked hard to maintain the state of the house and the farm on which it stands, Doornkloof, the General Smuts Foundation is proud of the fact that the museum stands substantially as it did a century ago. With the original floorboards and ceilings, as well as much of the furniture and belongings of the Smuts family filling The Big House, the unpretentious building strikingly illustrates Smuts’s indifference to luxury and ease of living.
Explore remarkable rooms
Each room displays remarkable photographs detailing Smuts’s life and experiences, with ample display cabinets exhibiting unique memorabilia from his time in office and at war. Taking some time to wander the halls of his former home to view the many artifacts and priceless pieces housed there provides a rich and revealing look into Smuts’s life during the early part of the 20th century.
Things to do at Smuts House Museum
As well as being an historical gem, the Smuts House Museum is home to a variety of family-friendly activities and attractions. Affectionately named after Ouma Isie, Smuts’s wife, Ouma’s Tea Garden is located in the shady gardens just outside the museum, and offers refreshments and lunch. Once you’ve had a walk around the museum itself, take some time to relax under the trees and enjoy the tea and scones made in Ouma’s classic recipe.
With a newly introduced Market at Smuts House taking place every second Saturday, ample space for picnics, and venues available for weddings and events, this significant memorial is a perfect spot for an informative and fun day out. Bring your family and your curiosity, and take a trip back in time.
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012 670 9015
Words & images: Lucy Sarah Heaney