situated in the southern-most region of
Africa is one of the most attractive and
picturesque of the surviving old-time
South African mission stations, only inhabited
by members of the Moravian
church. Founded in 1824,
it has changed little since. Beautifully
thatched, white-walled little cottages,
charmingly varied in their rooflines and
the styles of their eaves and windows,
face onto a furrowed and figtree-lined
On 12 May 1824 Bishop Hallbeck of the
Moravian Church acquired the 2 570 ha
farm Vogelfontein (bird fountain) from
Johannes Schonken. On Ascension Thursday,
12 May 1825, the name was changed to Elim
(palm trees) and a mission was established
around the original farmhouse built in
1796 by a Huguenot named Louis du Toit.
Neat little cottages were built to house
the community, mainly freed slaves. A
substantial church became the pivot of
the settlement. Today it forms the heart
palm trees still grace the church yard
and the only monument to commemorate the
freeing of the slaves in 1834, can be
found here ~ many of whom found safe haven
One of the last of the working water-mills
of the Cape is in Elim.
In its heyday the mill had a curiously
graceful air of old-fashioned elegance.
Its heavy, slow-turning grindstones produced
whole wheat flour of superb aroma and
taste. The whirr of its racks, the rumbling
of the grindstone and the merry splashing
of water created an atmosphere of honest
work and pride in its production. The
mill was declared a national monument
in 1974. For a long time dilapidated,
was formally opened on 21 April 1990.
At the Old Mill Tea Room the most delicious
biscuits and 'mosbolletjies can be sampled
- a product from the flour from the mill.
is renowned for its thatch roofs. Elim
thatchers are sought after craftsmen and
each year, just before Easter, all the
houses are white-washed, the colour white
being a symbol of purity and simplicity,
also omnipresent in the church and an
integral part of the village's life style.
On your way through the beautiful Overberg,
several gravel roads lead to Elim.
Visit this charming village, a declared
national monument in its entirety and
find out why Elim
has changed little since yesteryear.
Elim Links Below
Major Attractions - Elim
Accommodation Search - Elim
Establishments - don't forget to view our special
packages on our Join Us page.
View Overberg cares about the sucsess of all Overberg
establishments. Thus we have created this special, very cost effective
package to place you among the most noticed on the World Wide Web