Mother Holly's - Tea Garden and Museum - Millwood Goldrush
In 1876 a Mr Hooper was looking for grit for his ostriches and came upon a 18dwt gold nugget near Ruigtevlei along the Karatara river, who showed the nugget to a Mr groom, a chemist in Knysna, who confirmed it was gold.
Millwood got its name from the Thesens who had a saw mill in the woods near to the mining area and hence the name Millwood. Diggers from far and wide poured into Millwood living in tents on the hillsides and near the rivers and surviving on pap and sardines. By December 1887, up to 400 persons were living in Millwood. A town was laid out and 135 stands were registered. In the end there were approximately 1000 people living up at Millwood.
In the early 1900's, only a handful of buildings remained. One of them was a house and shop on plot 90. (up the hill - about half a kilometre away.) Owned by Walter Monk, it was known as Monk's shop. Later the shop acquired the name Mother Holly. (Mother Holly is a character in Grimm's fairy tales.) Italian-speaking descendents of the Gouna settlement pronounced the name as Materolli. Walter monk's wife died in 1912. Walter monk then remarried in 1914 & left Millwood.
John Grimble ran his shop (1914 - 1920) in this building (plot 157). He never named his shop. However, over time some wrongly referred to this building as Monk's shop. Consequently the name, Mother Holly's (Materolli) became associated with this building.
• Visit Mother Holly’s for an experience filled with tales of yesteryear.
• Enjoy a tranquil sense that is beyond surreal and imagine what happened where you sit so many years back.
· A destination filled with history and heritage with many visuals to take you back in time.
· We have a passion for food and hospitality. Menu items are carefully selected with the ethos revolving around freshly prepared and carefully presented meals.
• Learn more of the 1876 gold rush, the woodcutters, the Knysna forest and the Knysna elephant.
What we offer
· We offer a boutique museum with information on the Gold Rush from beginning to end. The story of the woodcutters and their hardships. Information on the near extinct Knysna elephant and the last sightings.
· Enjoy a guided mine tour, partly on our open air game drive vehicles and the rest by foot.
· We have mountain bikes for hire with various routes.
· We serve breakfasts and light lunches.
· We offer accommodation in one of the original mining houses which sleeps four.
· One can also book an informative forest guided tour with us.
• There are many items for sale for oneself or for gifting purposes .
Where to find us
Main Rd, Rheenendal.
Roughly 12.4Km along the Rheenendal road, you will find Totties Country Store and Petrol Station. The only petrol station along the Rheenendal road. You will pass this on your left hand side. Staying on the tarred road you will go slightly further around a bend where you will turn right following the Millwood, Bibbeys Hoek signs (12.6Km). The road becomes a gravel road which you will follow to the Sanparks entrance boom gate. From there one travels straight up through the forest following the Mother Holly signs. Directions are available at Totties or the Sanparks gate. Enjoy your journey!
•Distance from Rheenendal turn-off:
Marian and Garth Van Reenen (owners).
• Tel: 044 3890092
• Cell: 071 683 0929
• E-mail: email@example.com
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restaurant & tea gardens