History of Hartbeespoort Dam

General Hendrik Schoeman, owned a farm called Hartbeespoort. He had the idea of building a dam to benefit the community. In 1896 he began construction of the dam wall on the Crocodile River, near a railway line. He named this dam after his wife Sophia — but the name was later changed to Hartbeespoort Dam. At the time of the construction, the dam cost R10,000, a staggering amount at the time.

In 1905 the dam was relocated and repositioned between two mountains. August Karlson, a Swedish man was hired to engineer the build. However, due to financial problems and the onset of war, construction came to a halt soon after. Building commenced in 1918. Then in 1921, a torrential storm washed the temporary dam away and construction came to a halt yet again. Out of sheer frustration, August Karlson resigned from his position. The council hired a young but talented engineer named F. W. Scott who completed the dam.

When the dam was finished the first road over the bridge was tarred. This became the new road between Pretoria and Rustenburg. Today the Hartbeespoort Damn remains one of the biggest tourist attractions in the Magaliesberg region.

Xanadu Farm House

The Xanadu homestead was built in 1927 by Mr. Findlay in the Cape Dutch style. In 1942 W. W. C. Bezuidenhout bought the farm and became involved in dairy and chicken farming. Between 1938 and 1945 Italian POW’s laid out a large garden and built the concrete pergola. Since then the Xanadu Nature Estate has been built up around the old farmhouse.