Mountain View – History

The age of the building is unknown but we know that it was already operating as a Hotel in about 1872 when HR Giddy (born 1852) and his brother OS Giddy (born 1847) stayed over.  In his reminiscences, HR Giddy writes about the diamond rush after discovery of diamonds near Kimberley, his chronic illness caused by the dust and his journey back to Barkly East on which his brother accompanied him.  On passing through Lady Grey, they “put up at the Commercial Hotel also known as Rose’s Hotel and today named the Mountain View Hotel”. This indicates that the Inn is more than 140 years old.
In those early days, Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Rose, a German, possibly Jewish, was the owner of the Commercial Hotel.  When he died in 1897 his son, also CFW Rose (Carlie), took over. 
Carlie married Nelie Ross in 1902 and he added a large stable, forage and harness room, cart shed and a four room cottage to the Hotel.  Today this is the laundry, workshop, garages and storage rooms at the back of the hotel.
Martha Cornelia (Nelie) Rose on her wedding day in 1902.
The Carrara marble Angel keeps watch over Martha Cornelia (Nelie) Rose (born Ross) and her two sons who died in a freak accident in 1905.
Carlie lost his wife (photo above)  and two sons in a freak accident in December 1905.  A beautiful headstone in the shape of a large angel, carved from Carrara Marble, indicates the place in the middle of the Old Cemetery where they are buried. 
After Carlie Rose, the hotel belonged to James Ernest Stone and his wife Susanna Wilhelmina Flora Bock.  They had the hotel until 1945 and were also partners in the shop “Stone Brothers”.
Basil, Flora, James, Hugh & Hilary (at back) (end 1940)
Basil (SC) Stone, Flora (SWF) Stone, James (JE) Stone, Hugh Stone and Hilary Stone at the back.
Basil & Angie Stone & Children in front of the Commercial Hotel (Mountain View), Lady Grey (end 1940)
Basil Stone, his wife Jacoba and children Pat and Jimmy.
Basil Sone and others in front of the Commercial Hotel (Mountain View), Lady Grey (end 1940)
Basil Stone left. The rest of the people on the photo are unknown.
Young men off to war (end 1940) in front of the Commercial Hotel (Mountain View) in Lady Grey
Last photos before sending the men off to war. Taken in front of the Commercial Hotel (Mountain View Country Inn - Boutique Hotel) in Lady Grey. Take note of the structure of the Hotel. Very little has changed.
A descendant of the Stone family said that the two Bock Sisters were the owners of the two hotels in Lady Grey (Commercial Hotel and Central Hotel/Plaaskombuis/Ye Oude Praktijkt) possibly by inheritance and they married the two Stone brothers.
From the above we know about James and Flora owning the Commercial/Mountain View and we have evidence confirming it. However, in 1910, when one of his children were baptised, his occupation was indicated as storekeeper.   
James had a brother, Thomas Henry Stone, and he was married to the sister of Flora, Anna Augusta Bock.  When Thomas Henry Stone and Anna Augusta Bock were married in January 1907, his occupation was indicated as  “Hotel Proprietor” in the St Pauls Anglican Church register.  That was also his occupation when his first children were baptised.  Was he the owner of the Central hotel at that stage?  In later years he was well known as  the Storekeeper of the shop called “Tommy Stone” on the corner of Botha, Burnet and Grey Streets, opposite Amadwala.
Then there was another store called “Stone Bros” which belonged to two Stone brothers. Was this the same brothers or was it descendants of these two brothers?
Tommy Stone of the shop "Tommy Stone" in Lady Grey
Thomas Henry Stone (Tommy)
Mountain View Hotel, Lady Grey in abt 1949
Photo: est. winter 1949. Rob Cloete’s father had an old Chevrolet 2 door (about 1949) like the one on the photo. It could have been his. The next vehicle is a rare station wagon belonging to TW (Tommy) Bryson. He was a motor supplier who used to visit Bob Sterley (WJ Sterley & Sons - Sterley’s Garage – the current Konserthus/Blue Pepper building). Rob’s comment: “snowed in having a dop after selling his filters to Old Bob Sterley”. The third vehicle is an Opel (late 40’s max 1952). Information: Rob Cloete
Mountain View Hotel, Lady Grey in 1950's
Photo: early 1950's. The first vehicle looks like a red and white FORD Galaxy (52/54). The next one is Dawid Kantienpoort’s (Dawid Naude) old Ford (43). Then it is old Stephenson’s Chevrolet (39). He is uncertain about the last one but it looks like Lappies Labuschagne’s DKW (51). Lappies was always late and used to park badly. It was a Wednesday. They always played cards on a Wednesday afternoon – tickey a round, Sixpence a double. Information: Rob Cloete
In 1945 the hotel belonged to a Levine and in 1957 the owner was a Bekker. In June 1958 a record states that the hotel erven, 399 and 400 as well as two other erven, 358 and 359, are registered under Smithfield Hotels PTY LTD.   During the 1960’s it was managed by JWJ Terblance until the end of February 1967.
On 13 Nov 1968 erven 358 and  359 were transferred to GJB Smith and erven 399 and 400 registered under Union Wine and Spirit Corp.  In 1972 the hotel was referred to as Mountain View Hotel, registered as Lady Grey Holdings PTY LTD and the owner was Henry Vickers. 
Eli Spilkin bought the hotel from Henry Vickers in 1972 and it became part of the Spilco Hotel group.
Mountain View Hotel Bar, Lady Grey in 1972
The Bar in 1972 when Bill and Joan Brown managed the hotel for the Spilco Group.
Mountain View Hotel Veranda, Lady Grey in 1972
The hotel Veranda in Bill and Joan Brown's time.
Bill and Joan Brown were appointed as managers from 1972 to until 1973.
Mountain View Hotel, Lady Grey in the 1970's
Mountain View Hotel in the 1970's.
Mike & Elmien Stone (Managers until 1978) in front of Mountain View Country Inn (Photo: 2005)
Elmien and Mike Stone, Management of Mountain View until 1978. The photo was taken when they visited in December 2005.
Mike & Elmien Stone & family (Managers until 1978) in front of Mountain View Country Inn - Photo taken in 2005
Mike and Elmien Stone, their two sons, daughters-in-law and grand children.
At some stage, possibly from 1973 but certainly up to 1978, the hotel was managed by Mike and Elmien Stone. It is interesting to note that Mike is a descendant (grandson) of  Thomas Henry Stone and Anna Augusta Bock who possibly owned the Central Hotel as mentioned before.
In 1979 the hotel was managed by Jimmy and Joey Erasmus.  It was still part of the Spilco Hotel group which consisted of the Mountain View Hotel – Lady Grey, Drakensberg Hotel – Barkly East, Mountain Shadows Hotel – Barkly Pass and Pig & Whistle Hotel – Bathurst.  Members of the Spilco group was G. Spilkin, G.P. Spilkin, R. Spilkin, M. Spilkin and K.A. Spilkin. 
Mountain View Hotel, Lady Grey, 1980 - 1990
Mountain View Hotel 1980 - 1990
In 1991 the hotel was managed by James and Maria Combrink.  The Spilco group promoted tourism in the Eastern Cape and campaigned for the official declaration of national monuments in the area.
Mountain View Hotel, Lady Grey in 1993
Mountain View Hotel in 1993 at the time when Pierre and Nina took over.
Pierre & Nina de Groot at Mountain View Country Inn, Lady Grey, in 1994
Newspaper clipping from 1994 with Pierre and Nina de Groot on the left.
In June 1993 Pierre and Nina de Groot bought the Hotel and named it Mountain View Country Inn.  They moved the off-sales to other premises, changed all rooms to have on-suite bathrooms, re-vamped the interior and exterior and changed the roof colour from red to green.  They also promoted tourism by producing a range of new brochures.
Clive & Meryl Hambley, owners of Mountain View Country Inn, until 2002
Clive and Meryl Hambley. Photo taken during the hand-over function held to bid farewell to the couple and welcome new owners Otto and Dalene Oertel
Clive and Meryl Hambley bought the Hotel in September 1997.  Coming from a nursery background, Meryl spent a lot of time shaping the garden and introducing new scrubs and trees.
Otto & Dalene Oertel, owners of Mountain View Country Inn since 8 April 2002
Owners of Mountain View since 8 April 2002
In April 2002 Otto and Dalene Oertel bought the Hotel.  Since then constant changes and re-vamps have taken place, always with the comfort of the guest in mind. To name a few, the old liquor store was changed to a modern conference room, more efficient equipment installed and furniture, equipment and décor in rooms changed to make it comfortable and pleasing for guests.
There are indications that the Bar is situated in the oldest part of the building.  It has a high reed ceiling, then a wooden ceiling and the lowest ceiling which is a modern ceiling.  Interesting features include the beautiful old staircase and antique furniture in the restaurant and many of the rooms.
A room in the Hotel is dedicated to history.  It contains crockery, cutlery and other articles used in the hotel during its existence as well as articles from the old David Ross High School and research material of value to anybody researching the old families (Genealogy) and history of Lady Grey.