History

Province Western Cape
Overberg     

Elim is a small picturesque town in the Overberg where white-washed thatched cottages line a main road which is planted with fig trees.  All the roads lead towards the thatched church building. Elim was first established in 1824 as a mission station by German Moravian missionaries. The location was chosen because of the availability of water and terrain suitable for growing grapes with which they wanted to make wine for communion. The missionaries came to convert the locals to Christianity, but they also taught them skills and trades. Skilled thatchers still come from Elim. Elim is well known for the export of fynbos and indigenous flowers known as everlastings. It is also an emerging wine-producing area.

Elim was settled by former farm labourers and freed slaves from the area, who built the church-protected community blessed with the sweet waters of the Nuwejaars River. To this day, it is one of the few church-run towns in South Africa. It has the only known slavery abolition memorial in South Africa.

You’ll notice that many of the whitewashed houses, and even the church, are beautifully thatched. In fact, thatching is Elim’s main trade. These master craftsmen travel all over the world, creating beautiful, watertight reed-roofed houses. The tradition started centuries ago and is still being passed down from father to son.

The water mill built in 1828   replaced an earlier mill. The wooden parts were replaced by metal components to drive the half-ton stones. The mill was declared a national monument in 1994 and the whole building has been restored and is in use producing wholewheat flour.

The postcode in Elim is 7284

WEATHER IN ELIM TODAY

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Things to see and do in Elim

  • Elim wine festival in November 028 482 1618
  • The Geelkop Nature Reserve a small 450-hectare reserve is home to more than 200 plant species. It is behind the town, where a mass of yellow Leucadendrons cover the hill in spring. The flower show is best in Spring.
  • Visitors to Elim can stay in an old restored building which is part of the historic church complex 028 482 1715.
  • The Slave Monument built1938 Commemorates the liberation of slaves in the Cape
  • The whole village is a national heritage site! The Kerkwerf includes the old­est house, the church, the museum, a guest house, and a little cof­fee shop. You can also see the original water mill where stone­ground flour is produced and homemade bread is sold.
  • The thatch-roofed church with its clock tower and bell. The clock is the oldest still working church clock in the country
  • Elim flower festival in September.
  • Old water mill built in 1828.  It has the largest wooden wheel of any mill in the country.

Useful Numbers in Elim

  • Police: Bredasdorp – 028 425 5400
  • Traffic department: Robertson-023 626 8251
  • Fire: Fire Station Bredasdorp- 028 425 1690
  • Water:028 425 5601
  • Tourism 028 482 1806.
  • Electricity:028 425 5604
  • Ambulance: 10177 or Overstrand Medical Response-078 699 6995
  • Post office;Bredasdorp Post Office- 028 424 1370
  • Library: Library depot-083 582 4490
  • Closest hospital;Otto du Plessis Hospital-ER Bredasdorp-028 424 2654
  • Bredasdorp clinic-028 482 1850
  • Pharmacy;Bredasdorp Primary Healthcare Pharmacy-028 425 1193
  • SPCA: Animal anti cruelty league Bredasdorp – 082 898 0787
  • Schools: Mispah School for LSEN-028 482 1810                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      [/vc_column_text]
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