Ebenhaezer and Papendorp

EBENHAEZER & PAPENDORP – VILLAGE LIFE ON THE COAST

Ebenhaezer and Papendorp are two fishing hamlets situated on the Olifants River.

One of the oldest towns in the district, Ebenhaezer was founded by the Rhenish Missionary Society as a mission station in 1834. It was originally the site of a Khoi kraal. When James Backhouse visited Ebenhaezer in March 1840 he wrote that several people were living in huts built of reeds and mud, and that residents were building a windmill on a low hill outside the town. Today these old clay buildings and riethuise add to the town’s unique charm. The town’s residents and farmers benefit from the Olifants River Irrigation Scheme, and make a living farming cattle and sheep, and grow cash crops like lucerne, beans and coriander.

Papendorp lies nearby, at the mouth of the Olifants River, and was originally known as Viswater. Fishing boats, nets and bokkoms are characteristic of its cultural landscape. Residents also make a living harvesting salt from pans that may be visited by appointment.