Steenberg – in the same family 1682 to 1990 – longer than Die Bos

In my earlier blog ‘300 Years on the Farm’, I mentioned that the Morkel farm Die Bos (formerly Onverwacht) has now in 2013, been 300 years in the Morkel family.  I was uncertain about Steenberg which could be older but where the family name changed as sons-in-law took over.  Neil van Zyl has kindly filled me in on the history of Steenberg, where it stayed in one family from 1682 to 1990.  Thus Die Bos is indeed the oldest with the same family name, but has another eight years to go to beat the Steenberg record.

The original grant of the property now known as Steenberg was made to Katharina Ras in 1688 after she previously had a lease on the property with effect from 1682.  It was initially known as Swaaneweide.  She then sold the property to a son-in-law Frederick Russouw in 1695.  The Russouws owned the property until sold by a Nicolaas or Daniel Russouw to a Johannes Adriaan Louw in 1804.  Louw was connected through marriage and could have been a brother-in-law.  Approximately three generations of Louw then owned the property.  My grandfather, Nicolaas Andrew Louw, inherited the farm in 1917 from his father, Abraham.  Nicolaas initially owned the farm along with his brother, Kobus, which brother was later bought out.  My grandfather died in 1977 and the farm was inherited by his three children, Andrew, Jean and Nicolette, my mother.  The property was then owned by my mother and her siblings until 1990 when it was sold to JCI Limited.  JCI developed the front portion as a residential golf estate and established a winery and ran an hotel from the main residence.  JCI sold the property to an Uruguan called Gaston Savon who then, in turn, sold it to Kangra Holdings in 2005.  Kangra Holdings is controlled by the Graham Beck family.  Graham died a few years ago and the only interested family member is Anthony who lives in Kentucky in the United States.

Many thanks Neil, for this fascinating history


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  1. Your post title “Steenberg – in the same family 1682 to 1990 – longer than Die Bos” is really attractive. I appreciate your professional way of writing. Thanks, ‘Andre’ for sharing this informative post.

  2. Quite sad that Steenberg is no longer owned by the Louw family after being in the family for 308 years, and now owned by a holdings company who’s only interested member lives in America. Such rich history. Nicolaas was my grandfather Kobus’ brother. I remember visiting Uncle Nicolaas on the farm.

  3. Dear Joanne Louw,
    Many thanks for your comment. So much has been happening over past couple of decades or so. An era gone.
    André Morkel

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