After many years in journalism and as a technical engineer for Transnet, both JJ and Franco Swanepoel lost their jobs within months from each other due to a major car accident and retrenchment. They then started the lodge with their main bedroom and soon gained the support of mostly Transnet colleques, due to their loyalty over the years, it soon became important to get help and their oldest son Johann joined the bussiness. Together they built this guesthouse to one of the best in the nothern cape.
The Swanepoel's bought the main building in 1979 and spent their first night here on the evening of 1 January 1980. This is the place where their three children were raised. The main building used to be the pastronage of the Dutch Reformed Church of De Aar North. After complaints of the minister's wife for a bigger pastronage (they had five sons) this building was sold to a local builder, Gys Botes. Mr Botes divided the property and built another two houses next door. Eventually the property was sold to a very wellknown local business man, Mr Fick, who later on sold it to the manager of Old Mutual, a Mr Olivier. The Swanepoel's bought the house from Mr. Olivier.
It is situated in Schreiner Street, which was named after the husband of the famous writer, Oliver Schreiner. Mr Schreiner then was town clerk of De Aar and the couple stayed in the Schreiner House in Grundling Street.
Very little changes were made to the main building. The house was built in 1952.
An architect from Cape Town draw the plans and the building work was done by local master builders. A previous speaker, Peggy Hollander's husband, Louis, who was also a Member of Parliament, did most of the work. The carpentry work was done by the well- known late Mr Fanie Jansen, who was an expertise in his field. The late Johnny Clark, also a very beloved and well-known inhabitant, was responsible for the plumbing.
The Minister's consulting room where many couples had to undergo marriage training and new parents undergo a in depth talk with the church council before they could baptise their new borns, is still today the office. They combined the original lounge and dining room and they still have the original diesel heater which was so popular amongst the rich those years. Unfortunately due to the price of diesel they stopped using it about two years ago. The minister's wife's private office became a bathroom for the supreme room.
A strange experience for most guests is to be able to hear the church bell counting the hours every half hour.
In 2015 they built an extra office as well as three garages which lead to more parking space. The lounge area was re-built for an even more funky look. The original kitchen of 1952 was renovated, upgraded with new cupboards and expanded to host the braai area as well. The fridges is now kept in a sepertate room. Upgradings were also done to some of the rooms. The original slate rooftop were replaced by tiles. The front view of the building changed and has a more modern look. A new patio offers a cool place for guests to relax.