The Piketberg Museum has a unique atmosphere of both history and charm and was established two years after the passing of Piketberg resident, Mr AJ Liebenberg, who bequeathed his home and some of its content to the Piketberg Municipality.
The Piketberg Cultural Historical Museum opened in 1983 at the former home of Mr Liebenberg and remained at this address for 15 years before moving adjacent to the old Synagogue in Church Street. The building that currently houses the Museum was influenced by Edwardian architecture and the house replicates a homestead from the early 1900's. Most of the furniture dates from the 1920's.
The Museum archives contain the fascinating story of the Piketberg Jewish community as well as a priceless collection of original old school yearbooks and photographs of past Piketberg residents. Many of the artefacts were donated by locals and the exhibitions hold a variety of wonderful things to appreciate. Piketberg Museum was awarded the ``Best Museum in the Western Cape`` in 2012/2013 by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport.
The Museum also has a fantastic, medicinal herb garden, set up by a former curator of the Museum. A worthwhile stop when visiting the quaint town - don't forget to collect a map of the Piketberg Historic Route and enjoy the scenic history of the whole town.
WHAT IS ON DISPLAY?
Piketberg Museum offers a display for every type of visitor
- Town History
- Synagogue History
- Jewish Community History
- Edwardian Furniture
- Piketberg Artefacts
- History Exhibition
- Book Sales
- Herb Garden
- Anglo Boer War
- Piketberg and Surroundings
The first inhabitants of the area were Khoisan. The West Coast region was the land of the CochoQua, which included Saldanha Bay to Vredenburg. The ChariGuriQua or GuriQua occupied the lower Berg River area, St Helena Bay and areas around Piketberg. The remnant of the ChariGuriQua of the West Coast followed Adam Kok, born in 1710, who was the founder of the Bastaard (later Griqua) group. He lived in Piketberg and later moved to Kamieskroon.
The town of Piketberg originated in 1836 when Sir Benjamin D'Urban, then Governor of the Cape Colony, donated the farm ``Grootfontein`` to the church council in the area whom had already started to build on the land. The town derives its name from the Dutch word ``piket`` which means outpost.
From 1655 the Cape Government placed military outposts on the Piketberg mountains during clashes with roaming Hottentot clans. This naturally lead to the naming of the mountain ``Piketberg`` and later the town at its foot.
The town remained under church management until 1906 when authority was handed over by Willem Liebenberg to the municipality. The first loan farm was allocated in 1709 and after 1800 many farmers had already established wheat crops as well as cattle farming.
The current Dutch Reform Church was designed by Charl Otto Hager from 1880 to 1882. The church was designed based on popular neo-gothic architecture and still remains one of the focal points of the town today.