Legend has it that our Breede Valley neighbours would admonish their errant children with "Behave! Or I'll send you to McGregor!" and no one can deny that McGregor is somehow a little different. McGregor is the best-preserved and most complete example of mid-nineteenth century Towns, in the Cape Province. With its traditional, whitewashed, thatched Cottages set in quiet streets, surrounded by mountains, wildlife, and Wine Estates. McGregor really is one of the jewels of South Africa!
The charming Village of McGregor lies at the foot of the Riviersonderend Mountains, 20 km from Robertson, on a good tarred road. A dirt road does connect the Village with the N2 via the Stormsvlei Pass, but the tar peters out a little way beyond the village towards the famous McGregor to Greyton walk via the Bushmanskloof Pass. It is this physical sense of isolation that has helped to preserve some of the most attractive 19th Century Architecture in the Western Cape.
The Village shares the climate of the Little Karoo: hot in Summer and cool to freezing in Winter, when the rain falls and occasionally snow shimmers in the sunshine on the encircling Hills. It is a good Farming Country, it was the soil that drew the first farmers to settle in the late 1700's. A few scattered houses were built in the early 1800s. Some were used for Church Services, (such as a terrace of three known as; 'Die Trein', in Voortrekker Street), some housed labourers and some were built by people such as the Miller and the Whip-maker. The Village was officially proclaimed only in 1862 and divided into 2½ha. Plots. By 1905, all the land had been bought by 19 smallholders and farmers, and their names are recorded on a contemporary map, now in the McGregor Museum.
The Museum operates under the authority of the Heritage Society of McGregor and is administered informally by an enthusiastic voluntary group, initially formed under the leadership of Helaine Shand, who herself has 19th Century family links, with the Village. The Museum would welcome the donation or loan of copies of any Documents, Letters, Title Deeds, Artifacts etc. which relate to life in the area from the latter part of the 1700s, onwards. The Museum has transcriptions of arguments over water rights fought in the courts by pioneering farmers at that time. Although a number of Houses were built in the first part of the 1800s, the Village was officially Proclaimed only in 1862.
Information Courtesy of www.sahistory.org.za/place/mcgregor-western-cape