The origin of farm Flintbeck

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The history of Flintbeck farm is closely entwined with the history of our family, the Schlotfeldt’s, which takes us way back.

In the year 1896 our Great grandfather Carl August Schlotfeldt decided to leave behind his Holstein birth town Flintbek in Germany. Together with his wife Anna ( Born: Boy) they packed their bags and set off on an Africa adventure that would change their lives, as well as the future of their offspring.

Their destination was the then independent and prosperous Republic of Transvaal (Now part of South Africa), a destination that drew adventurers, pioneers and craftsman especially from Europe ( Netherlands, Germany, France and Belgium).

The two newcomers to Africa settled themselves in Braamfontein, a part of town that now belongs to the centre of Johannesburg. Carl August established himself as a blacksmith in the then and still existing Juta-street. His brother built up a well known German Beer house not far from the Blacksmith workshop. During this time of rapid growth there was a great demand for qualified men. Carl August qualified as a Blacksmith in Kiel Germany in 1894, he was in great demand in Johannesburg, the city of gold. Carl August was declared a Rand Pioneer in the year 1900; this prestigious award was bestowed upon him for being part of the founding business men of Johannesburg. This award is still proudly displayed on the farm Flintbeck, as tribute to their great grandfather.

The year 1916 was the birth of the first Schlotfeldt born on the African continent. His name was Friederich- Wilhelm Schlotfeldt, a proud South African born man, with a strong German heritage. Friederich married Lydia (Born Westphal), who was also of German origin being the daughter of a Berlin Missionaries family living in Haluvhimbi South Africa.

In 1952 their dream of owning a piece of Africa came true when they bought a farm about 80 kilometres from Johannesburg. The farm at the foot of the Magaliesberg (second biggest mountain range in South Africa) was in the Wagenpadspruit area, the main route between Johannesburg and Rustenburg. Wagenpadspruit is an Afrikaans word meaning Wagon path road along the stream.

As tribute to his father and their proud German heritage, the farm was named Flintbeck. You will note that the spelling of the name was amended to end with a “ck”; this was to avoid confusion as in the Afrikaans language “bek” means “mouth”.

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Flintbeck will always be a constant reminder of the relationship with Flintbek, Germany as well as the bond between the Schlotfeldt’s in Flintbek Holstein, and Flintbeck South Africa. The Schlotfeldt’s make a point of ensuring that their offspring travel to Holstein Flintbek to see the Schlotfeldt street, as well as the engravings of their forefathers names in the bell and Church built in 1223.

Back in 1952 when Friedel and Lydia first arrived at Flintbeck, the farm was still mostly African bush. Amongst the golden hills and the Sweet thorn trees lay only two structures, the “rondawels” (Round thatch buildings, five of them joined together) and the old shed. These structures must have been erected in the 1920’s and were built from mostly natural material.

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The walls were built with clay bricks baked on the farm, the roof structure was erected using popular trees that grow on the banks of the Hex River, and of course thatch grass from the farm was used to cover the roof. These “rondawels” housed three generations of Schlotfeldts on the farm. The “rondawels” have now been completely revamped without damaging the unique character and heritage of the buildings; they have been converted to comfortably accommodate our guests.

Back in the days of Friedel and Lydia there was no electricity on the farm, and water was transported to the house by ox wagon. Those were the days when time still passed a little bit slower on the farm, a feeling our guests still embrace in the old lifestyle farm house.

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Friedel and Lydia loved the African nature, with all its fauna and flora. During the middle 1900’s hunting for game was part of everyday life. Unfortunately the daily supply of game meat could no longer supply the ever increasing demand. It was sad for Friedel and Lydia to see how the animals were hunted in the area. Although neither of them had a problem with hunting, they did have a problem with the lack of conservation being applied. For this specific reason they decided to register and declare Flintbeck as a Nature Reserve. Although they were farming with cattle on the farm, they made a point of preserving the wildlife on the farm. Friedel died before seeing the fruits of his labour. Today there are various species of game on the farm: Waterbuck, Kudu, Gnu, Sable, Impala, Duiker, Eland, Zebra, Hartebeest, Bushbuck and Blesbuck to name a few. Their greatest accomplishment was the Kudu. Although Friedel never had the privilege of seeing a Kudu on Flintbeck, he laid the foundation for herds of over a hundred on the farm. Guests will be very fortunate to see the majestic beauty of a full grown Kudu bull and to walk among it in its natural environment.

The original Flintbeck farm was 400 hectares in size, today the farm is over a 1000 hectares and fully game fenced. The farm is still run as a cattle and game farm, with certain areas dedicated to game alone, and the rest is shared in harmony between the two. Friedel and Lydia would have been proud to see what has become of their humble dream.

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Putting up game fencing 2009

During the year of 1957 Carl Friederich Schlotfeldt was born. He was the youngest of four children, Gisela, Ernst and Liesel. Carl or better known as Callie still lives on the farm today. He was fortunate to have met an amazing South African woman who also has a German heritage, Heide Bonhage. Callie and Heide Schlotfeldt have extended and grown the farm through very tough times to what it is today. They will never forget the drought of the eighties that very nearly cost them the farm and everything they had.

The Schlotfeldt family has been very blessed since their arrival in Africa. The year of 1985 saw the arrival of the third generation of Schlotfeldts on Flintbeck. Thomas, Martin and Christian were all born and raised on the family farm. They too remember and embrace their heritage, but acknowledge with pride that they are proudly South African. Thomas is now married, also to a Heidi (Born Fourie).

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When Friedel and Lydia were living in the rondawels

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The rondawels before renovations

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The Weeping Boer- bean tree that now form s part of the Bar area

(Common Name:Weeping Boer-bean, Huilboerboon ,Latin Name:Schotia brachypetala )

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Rondawels prior to renovations

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Part of the building team during renovations

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Building the waterhole dam

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Celebrating the German style “Richterfest”, having a drink after reconstruction of the roof to ensure the roof does not leak

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The Schlotfeldt family have been part of the Flintbeck history for over 60 years, they are very proud of their Bonsmara (cattle breed) stud, the Blacksmith/ engineering workshop, the lodge, their game farm, and they are still conserving the Flintbeck farm today. We have, therefore, prepared your accommodation, come and enjoy our African weather, bush, traditionally prepared high quality beef, game meat and an ice cold drink on a warm day with us.

Become a part of the Flintbeck Heritage.