In 1856 two rural townships called Hopedale and Lyon were amalgamated to form Uniondale. Wagon and cart building and other industries flourished, as did the rearing and trading of cattle, sheep, goats and horses. It was a really happening town until the outbreak of the 1st World War.
Gorgeous architecture has been left for us to enjoy. Uniondale has many architectural gems to discover, all within walking distance. We don’t want to give away all our secrets on the website, and only list a few here to whet the appetite.
The classically inspired building of the Police Station and Court House was built in 1891.
Next to that is the Apostolic (Pinkster) Protestant Church, built in 1843 which is one of the seven National Monuments in Uniondale. The school building on the property now houses Little Theatre Café and tourism office.
The Salvation Army Hall which was built in 1887 now houses Penny Lane coffee shop.
Further along, the delightful Victorian Klaas Vaak, was the original Post Office (1892)
All Saint’s Anglican Church (1876) was designed by Sophia Gray, the first woman ecclesiastical architect in South Africa. Notice the gorgeous locks on the doors.
Look out for Cape Dutch gable of ‘Bon Accord’, behind which is the original cinema and roller skating rink of the town.
Click on the photos below to enlarge and for descriptions.
A unique feature of Uniondale and particularly Victoria Street, is that the by-laws allow a certain number of farm animals in a residential area. Beurtwater used to be available along Victoria Street, with each property allowed 2 hours of water per week. That was before the town grew too large, and sadly the town doesn’t have enough water for this agricultural irrigation.
In 1980 the Public Works Dept. decided that The Residency (look out for the big oak tree outside) was not suitable for the magistrate who lived there, and was on the verge of pulling it down. The Building Foundation intervened and the restored house is a fine example of period colonial architecture with a blend of local and imported elements
The double storey residence resembling a full-size doll’s house, was built in 1857.
In the garden of of no. 18 Victoria Street is the original ice cream shop. Some of the houses on Victoria Street were painted ice cream colours. The double storey house we just mentioned was the Chocolate Box, and other houses were painted raspberry, strawberry and vanilla. Also in this garden is a large reservoir which was the town swimming pool.
The two beautiful Historical Monument cottages ‘Genoeg’ and ‘Applewood’ were built around 1850 of the local sun-baked mud brick. These cottages were originally built by a Dutch carpenter – one was his home and the other his workshop.
The Synagogue (1905) is a must-see treasure of Uniondale, beautifully restored and maintained by the Lions Club.
If you would like a guided tour, you can go on an early morning “Walk and Talk” with Carol Trehearn (071-915-7696) or with Dirkie Coetzee in his snazzy yellow Tuk-Tuk (071 152 1046). Click here for more details on the Tours.
On the corner of the De Hoop turnoff on the R339 between the R62 and Uniondale is a memorial to what is rather grandiloquently termed "Gideon Scheepers Last Battle". This skirmish took place on 19th August 1901.
Walk the Labyrinth – Path of Hope, in Voortrekker Street, Uniondale. The gate is open for everybody who wants to get silent and enjoy this Karoo Labyrinth, a community project driven by the owner of the adjacent Cottages...
The Jewish community was well established in Uniondale during the late eighteen hundreds. Israel Shear, who had emigrated from Russia with his large family, was a storekeeper, bottle store owner and farmer. He was the leader of...
All are welcome to come and see Abrie van der Merwe's private scale car collection at Blue Yonder Gift Shop on Voortrekker Street next to the Absa Bank. Abrie got his first scale car, a Porche 911 Targa, as a present from his...