Wonders of Caledon
Positioned on a hill at the foot of the Swartberg (Black Mountain), with magnificent views across the beautiful town of Caledon and the distant country beyond lies one of Caledon’s most significant natural resources, the Caledon Mineral Springs.
The springs became known to the European’s in the 1600’s after meeting two Khoikhoi clans, the Hassequa and the Chainquaus who maintained kraals in the area and had occupied the landscape for at least a thousand years. The Khoikhoi called the springs Disportcamma, after which the springs was frequently visited by early travellers at one time or another and this natural resource still attracts the masses today.
In 1710 the first recorded recognition of the health benefits of the mineral springs was found in the journal of Commissioner Govert Cnoll. The springs attracted numerous visitors and had a particular appeal for military men. From Commissioner Cnoll’s journal sketches illustrating tents and self-dug baths to the VOC Guesthouse c1730 that accommodated up to 200 visitors a year and Dr Hassners Guesthouse c1810. All the way to the magnificent Victoria Sanatorium with its Swiss Chalet effect reflecting a European Spa, with all its luxuries and amenities the Caledon Sanatorium became the hub of social life in the Overberg.
After the Sanatorium burnt down in 1945 the site was redeveloped into a Caravan Park by the local municipality in 1961, the Overberger Hotel in 1989 until the dawn of the 21st century when the Caledon Casino, Hotel & Spa was erected and tourists & visitors could once more enjoy one of Caledon’s wonders in luxurious fashion.
Why don’t you take a break from the busy city life and come and experience what has been attracting travellers, visitors and tourists since the 1600’s, come and enjoy the wonders of Caledon.
By: M.R.Sauls – Caledon Museum
Information Source: Our Heritage – A History of Caledon by Joy Edwards
The Development of the Caledon Springs – Mary Patrick