Montagu Museum – Jouberthuis

House Museum


Standing on a sub-division of the original Uitvlucht farm, Joubert House was built in 1853 by Pieter Gideon Joubert for his father.The building, the oldest in town, was declared a National Monument in 1975 and today depicts the lifestyle of the latter part of the nineteenth century.

During the disastrous flood of 1981 the rains caused such damage to the structure and roof of the house that it was due for demolition. The Board of Trustees of the Montagu Museum bought the ruin, and thanks to the tireless efforts of the staff and the support of the community, Joubert House was restored to its former glory.  Two and a half years after the flood and 130 years after it had been built, the museum was opened by State President Marais Viljoen on 14 October 1983.

Of particular interest is the dinner service today on display in the dining room which was used on the day that Paul Kruger (later President of the Transvaal Republic), famous Boer General Piet Joubert and the Transvaal Superintendent of Education at the time, SJ du Toit, attended a banquet in their honour at Joubert House in 1880. During this period the ‘long room’ in Joubert House served as a magistrate’s court and today the first jail in town can be seen at the back of the kitchen.

The wallpaper in the Ken Birch room is unique in that it was specially printed from a sample of the original that was found in the room. The Elberta peach-stone floor in the kitchen and pantry is of special interest as it was laid according to a very old local method. The museum is also the proud owner of a unique collection of handmade dolls by Carolyn and Jenny McSweeney of Montagu. The costumes of the dolls are historically correct down to the last detail, including underwear and leather shoes. The dolls and toy collection of the museum can be viewed in the doll room.

The indigenous herb garden at Joubert House is popular with locals and visitors to Montagu alike. With enough shade and seating under the trees next to the carefully laid out footpaths, an atmosphere exists that invites the visitor to fully embrace the unique ambiance of Klein Karoo fynbos combined with the magical aromas of medicinal herbs.

A fully operational nursery and greenhouse at the back of the garden furthermore guarantees that visitors to Joubert House always remember their visit to the historic house and its gardens with great fondness.

Montagu has become quite famous for its herb remedies. Joubert House as well as the Old Mission Church, up the road, are where these herbal medicines and products are sold. The Herb Department has an online shop on our website and can dispatch the products all over South Africa.

Route Description:

Joubert House ,25 Long Street