The History of Southbroom
Southbroom's history dates back to 1884 when Alfred Eyles, an English missionary from Wick, near Bath, established a Mission for the Society of Friends called Imbizane, near the hill known as "Ntsaba" or The Outlook.
During the following decade, firstly with the abject of extending the size of the mission itself and then later, in order that it become self-sufficient, Eyles acquired by way of grants, approximately 1000 acres of land stretching from the Imbizane to the Umkobi River.
Until the wreck of the "Fascadale", a 1776 tonne four-masted steel sailing ship during the early hours of February 7, 1895, this part of the coastline was relatively unknown. With a cargo of sugar and a crew of twenty-eight, the Fascadale en route from Mauritius and bound for the port of Lisbon, with it's first Mate Alfred Julius in command, foundered when it ran onto rocks near the tidal pool directly below the Admiralty apartment block.
Of the several who did attempt the dangerous swim ashore from the rocks, known thereafter as Fascadale Rocks, two died. However, the arrival of the steamer "Northern Castle" prevented any further loss of life.
It is interesting to note that whilst the Captain of the ill-fated vessel was not on board, having met with an accident whilst the ship was in Durban, Southbroom remembers him as the namesake of Captain Smith Drive.
In 1907 Alfred Eyles retired and the Swedish Zulu Mission assumed responsibility for the area. The new mission, built on 12 acres of land granted to the Society by Eyles retained the name Imbizane and so, to avoid any confusion, the Eyles' family had to find a new name for their home - Southbroom, the name of a family home in Devizes, Wiltshire, was chosen.
Alfred Eyles and his wife, Catherine will be remembered as the town's first pioneers, but two of their sons, Frank and Gilbert became the founders. In 1933 the brothers formed a partnership and then set about planning a park-like residential township.
Southbroom has some five kilometers of beautiful seafront and when the Eyles' brothers set out to develop the town they showed amazing foresight.
Preserving all that was best in the original landscape and then by providing larger plots and making generous provision for parks and open spaces, they set Southbroom apart from other neighbouring towns.
Today, the township's wealth of vegetation is undoubtedly one of its finest assets. And, because strict environmental principals pertaining to all development has been implemented over many years by serving local authorities, Southbroom's unique semi-rural character has been preserved.
The Frederika Nature Reserve encompassing nearly eight hectares of mature, virgin dune forest extending southwards from the 16th green is rated one of the finest examples of dune forest remaining in Natal. Regarded as extremely fragile in terms of the complex Eco-system, this priceless tract of land was donated by the late Leo Dreissen, shortly before his death in 1977 to the S.A. Nature Conservation.
Southbroom has long been described as the "jewel" of the South Coast. There is indeed something very self-contained about Southbroom. It offers excellent sporting facilities - golf, tennis and bowls. The beaches are perfect for surfing, swimming or walking. There are excellent fishing spots and in the village you can buy anything from a litre of beer to a litre of milk, find an Architect, engage a builder, buy fine art or quality craft work or even hire a latest movie release on DVD. Real estate agents abound.
Within the township there are numerous bed and breakfast establishments and without venturing forth onto the main road, there are two well-established restaurants, Trattoria la Terrazzo and Riptide to enjoy.