Annette S. Kruger (1924 – 2010) was well known and loved by all Hoogland guests over the years.

She loved sharing the beauty of Hoogland with everyone, planned all the walking trails into the hills, knew the trees, birds and showed her passion for it through guided walks and pressed flower pictures.

The pressed flower pictures throughout the building were all done by her, and every single flower, grass and leaf in them were picked on Hoogland.

Below is a short history which she wrote about Hoogland.

The History of Hoogland from 1967 – by Annette Kruger

From 1962 to 1967 the Kruger family lived in Benoni. During this time we had a smallholding on the Vaal River where we used to go for weekends. In 1967 Mr Kruger brought his business to Pretoria. As it was too far to go to the Vaal River for weekends, we sold the smallholding and went looking for another plot nearby. We could not find anything to our liking. Then we heard of a dilapidated Guest Farm, in the Schurveberg Mountains, that was for sale. We visited the place and the whole family fell in love with it. So in 1967 we bought the place. Being up in the mountains, Mr Kruger named it aptly “Hoogland”.

After a few months of weekly visits, we decided to come and live on Hoogland. We organised one of the buildings as a home, demolished the rest and moved in. After another few months we finally felt sure that this was the ideal place to live. So we decided to build a proper home. The site we chose was where the old restaurant had been. We decided to build big so that the building can be changed back into a Guest farm if we so decide.

The building was completed in 1972 and consisted of five storeys:

  • The basement was a workshop.
  • Level two was a hobby centre with a studio for painting, a laboratory for experimenting, a room for building model air planes an inside heated pool and an outside cold pool.
  • Level three had the living- and dining rooms, the kitchen, cold pantry and laundry.
  • Level four consisted of the bedrooms: the senior’s bedroom en suite with balcony, a bedroom each for the four children, and two guest rooms, all with en suite bathrooms.
  • There was also a study for Mr Kruger, a workroom for Mrs Kruger, and an Auditorium for showing films. (There was no TV at the time.)
  • Level five was a hydroponic garden.
  • There was a parking area where the Kiepersol theatre and shops are now.

During 1977 the children started leaving home. With only the two seniors in the big building we thought of changing Hoogland back to a guest farm. But then a friend who used to go to High Rustenberg Hydro asked why not a Hydro? There was a chiropractor at that resort who wanted to go on his own. So Dr. Mike Harris came up, took a lease on the place and made the necessary alterations to change it into a small Hydro. He named it Hoogland Hydro One. The Krugers moved to Pretoria.

After 15 months Dr Harris had problems so that he could not go on with the Hydro. That is when we decided that we do not like living in town any more – so, we were come out to run the Hydro. And the children decided to come back to help us.

Abrie, the eldest, having a B. Comm degree, took over the books. Andre, the third son, with a BSc degree, married, with two children, decided to become the Hydro’s doctor. So he started his medical studies from scratch. Ilette, the daughter, busy with her B.Comm degree, decided to study through Unisa while taking care of the personnel. After a while Roelof, the second son, who was farming, joined the family too.

With the friendly help of High Rustenberg’s owner, Mr Sapporetti, their head doctor, Dr Chaitow and Dr Harriss’s staff that stayed behind, we learned what was necessary to run the Hydro.

While Dr. Harris had caravans for the overflow of Hydro guests, we decided to have everything under one roof. So we removed the hydroponic garden from level 5 and built 18 bedrooms, leaving a balcony open for sunbathing. The dining room and kitchen were enlarged and the laundry moved out of the main building.

When the therapy-area became too small, we build a new extention duplicating the water therapies and fitting nine cubicles for massaging. On top of this area we made a large exercise area and staff tearoom.

The basement was changed into doctor’s consulting rooms and a laboratory, a theatre for T.V., a billiard room and table tennis area. When more bedrooms were needed, we built on an extention to the east with a new reception area and three levels of bedrooms. The space between the old and new buildings was turned into a new reception area and offices. The old reception area was changed into the Kiepersol Theatre for television, lectures and demonstrations, a small shop and a store room.

Guests at Hoogland drink a lot of water. To make this drinking more pleasant we decided to bottle water with a sparkle. This became so popular that a new company for the sale of Hoogland water was launched: “Aqua Minerale”. The water from the bottling plant comes from underneath the new section of the building. The builders had to drill some holes to test the underground formation and found water. To make sure that the bottled water is absolutely pure, we decided to use water from this borehole for bottling purposes. So, a separate pipeline leads from this this borehole to the bottling plant.

Hoogland has more than enough water for its needs. Apart from the source of our bottled water, we have three boreholes behind the Hydro. One was drilled on the location of the original spring. There is also a borehole at the entrance gate, with piping leading to the communal reservoir. So, apart from all the water used in the Hydro the grounds around the building can be watered year in and year out to form an oasis, even with the rest of the area is dry.

The Hydro is situated on a 398 hectare property. On it we planned and had 45 kilometres of trails laid out. When we decided to introduce game, we fenced the whole property with a game fence. Apart from the wild life that had been here already: jackal, rhebuck, duiker, rabbits, rock rabbit, tortoises, etc., we brought in wildebeest, zebra, blesbuck, impala, eland, hartebeest, and kudu. Unfortunately the kudu have jumped the fence, but the rest of the game are doing fine.

There are many birds at Hoogland. Bird clubs love to come here and 82 species have been identified. There are 66 different kinds of indigenous tress of which many have been marked with the name-plates of the Dendrological Society. There is also a big variety of indigenous plants, and after good rains, the veldt is full of flowers.

Annette Kruger
Guide to many
Is part of the heart and soul of Hoogland.

She died peacefully on the farm in April 2010.

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