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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Darling Museum and the Creamery Corner

I undertook another visit to Darling Museum today. The West Coast covers a large area and there are many things to see, but there won’t be another Museum quite like this for us to visit.
Darling was founded in 1853 on a farm called Langfontein and named after Sir Henry Charles Darling, then Lieutenant Governor of the Cape. At the end of the Nineteenth Century a creamery was established here by Swedish settlers, Moller and Threnstrom.

A local lady, Baby Basson felt that the history of the creamery should be preserved and that was how the Darling Museum was started. Today, it is possible to spend many hours (or days) in the Museum with its well-furnished schoolroom, period furniture and porcelain, clothes, farm implements and even a shed with well-preserved antique vehicles. The main emphasis, though, is on the history of the creamery. What a wonderful idea it was to preserve this history and all these beautiful objects and utensils!

I prepared a stretched canvas with Naples Yellow acrylic paint, buffed it well, and then drew directly onto it with pen&ink. Afterwards I added highlights in white.( I am sure I have seen something Old Masterly like this technique but cannot remember where?) I am showing a butter churn made with a vat as base, milk cans and butter molds. The contraption in the back was used to seperate skim milk from cream. We had one when I was little and it was fun turning it each evening in the cool milk room and wait for the two different liquids to pour out. And why do I also remember that there was seventeen or so little dishes to wash and dry and stack back into each other?


  1. A short history of Darling can be found on:,_South_Africa Darling, Western Cape

    You will find a lot of info on

  2. I enjoyed this canvas and the historical facts. The museum sounds a wonderful place to visit.

    Marie, and do you also dish stacked incorrectly caused the skimmed milk and the cream to fly in all the wrong directions?

  3. Ha-ha! It would have meant trouble, for sure. I also put all sorts of wool and ribbons and paper on top of the separator to see the patterns it formed when I turned the handle fast. Another memory: NOBODY drank the skim milk part, that was meant for the farm animals! Now we PAY for skim milk!

  4. Hallo Marie, dis pragtig! Baby Basson was my man se ouma,'n merkwaardige vrou want sy was al in haar laat 70tigs vroee 80tigs toe sy hierdie museum begin het. Sy het op Yzerfontein gewoon en elke dag oor die besige Weskus pad se kruising gery Darling toe na die museum toe. Haar seun het vertel dat hy eendag op pad huistoe was, hulle plaas is Swartwater, die familieplaas waar Michael ook gebore is, en daar was 'n lang ry voertuie voor hom wat baie stadig gery het, hy wonder toe in watter begrafnis stoet hy vas gevang was en begin toe die voertuie verby gaan toe die pad skoon is voor, net om te sien dis Ouma Baby wat heel voor ry soos 'n trapsuutjies, net die koppie wat bo die stuurwiel uitsteek op pad terug Yzerfontein toe van Darling af. Hulle het haar sleutels afgevat toe sy 90 jaar oud geword het!

  5. This is a lovely story and I am going to do a short translation for the benefit of overseas followers:
    Karen says here that Baby Basson was her husband's grandmother. This tiny woman, hardly visible over the top of her steering wheel, used to block traffic between Yzerfontein and Darling for miles by going very slow up front. Ouma Baby Basson drove until she was 90!

  6. Oh, this is so sweet! Ouma Baby was a lady of note...I love the various comments and the way history is tied up with the art. Brilliant.


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