We bought Fairview in 1994 and took up the challenge to restore this historic George landmark. People often express their surprise that we had the property listed immediately after we bought it. There is a general misconception that when you buy a heritage property (listed or unlisted) you will not be allowed to alter your home or to add modern conveniences.
I recently found the old Garden And Home Magazine (October 1998) with the article of our house - talk about blast from the past:
Romancing an era - a long neglected historic George House gets a make-over...
In The Oudshoorn Courant and Het Suid-Western on Wednesday September 27, 1978 Brenda Hartdegen reported:
GEORGE: A magnificent leather-bound 260-year-old Bible was sold for R535 after brisk bidding at an auction of mostly antique furniture. The Bible was bought by a Cape Town dealer, Mr H A Lammers , who flew to George especially to attend the sale.
As the proud owner of a 1958 Volkswagen and belonging to the local Old Car Club, I am forever encouraging guests to visit the local Railway Museum just up the road, where private vintage car owners can display/store their vehicles amongst the Railway exhibitions. I chanced upon the following passage in the delightful book by Victor Smith called 'Open Cockpit over Africa' in which he tells of his adventures flying more than 13 000 miles from George to London and back. Arriving back in George he was welcomed back as a hero by the locals. (Fairview is of course the Mayoral home mentioned...)
George wat nie veel geskiedkundige argitektuur het om mee te spog nie, kan gelukkig nou tog groots wees op die Kaapse Georgiaanse styl woning, Fairview wat met groot sorg en toewyding gerestoureer is deur die huidige eienaars, Mev Philda en Dr Desmond Benkenstein.
Alhowel reeds in 1841 tot stand gekom het, is meeste van die dorp se karaktervolle en geskiedkundige huise gesloop. Fairview wat terugdateer na 1861, dien vandag as 'n gesinswoning en as smaakvolle ingerigte gastehuis. Die gasteboek getuig daarvan dat toeriste vanoor die wêreld dit 'n verruklike ondervinding gevind het om hier tuis te gaan.