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Then & Now: The Imperial Hotel 1916 — 8 Comments

  1. I enjoyed reading Mike Hampton’s blog on the Imperial Hotel in Knysna. My grandfather retired from the wool trade in East London and managed the hotel with my grandfather for the SA Breweries. When the Breweries had to disinvest from owning hotels my grandparents bought the hotel and ran it until they died. My uncle, Hugh Devereux, took over ownership until the death of my aunt Ruth Devereux. My grandmother cultivated a beautiful garden which is now a supermarket parking lot – such is progress! During the war when my father was “up north” my mother and I stayed at the hotel until, I think, the guests had had enough of me and my grandmother bought Marsh Cottage close to the lagoon for my mother and me. My grandparents and my aunt and uncle are buried in Knysna and I always top opposite the hotel and think back on the good times I had there. PAUL DEVEREUX

    • Thank you for relating such a lovely story. The personal touch makes so much difference to history! PS: All credit for that blog info goes to our local historical society.

    • Hello Paul (and Mike),
      Glad that you enjoyed the brief write-up we did on the Imperial Hotel!
      As the building was built in 1916 it is protected in terms of the Heritage Resources Act 25 of 1999 so hopefully it will remain much the same, externally at least, for many years to come.
      It is a pity that it could not return to its former role as a hotel but we have such a wealth of hotels in Knysna now and the competition is fierce.
      Paul, please let me have your e-mail address and I will forward you a “building time-line’ that we prepared and I would be grateful if you could cast your eyes over this and add/ amend as required.
      With kind wishes,
      Philip Caveney
      Knysna Historical Society
      caveney1@telkomsa.net

  2. My name is Rita meijerink and I live in Holland at the moment,but my husband and I were the managers from the Imperial hotel for About 3or4years in1977when iT was owned by mr Kiers out of Tzaneen.

  3. Mr Grandparents, Jack and Isabel Matson lived at this hotel for many years. I can remember playing in the lovely garden and hiding in the hollow tree.

    • Hello Susan,
      The Imperial Hotel gardens were certainly well cared for.
      The Knysna Bowling Club started in the hotel garden grounds and later moved to Rawson Street.
      Philip