Helen Elizabeth Martins | South African History Online
Helen Elizabeth Martins was born on 23 December 1897 in the Karoo village of Nieu Bethesda in the Eastern Cape. She was the youngest of six children and spent her childhood growing up in Nieu Bethesda. She went on to obtain a teacher's diploma in nearby Graaff-Reinet and, around that time, married Johannes Pienaar - a teacher, dramatist and, in later years, a politician.
The Owl House in Nieu Bethesda | London Traveller
Nieu Bethesda is hidden in the Great Karoo and perhaps best known for The Owl House so I planned a circular drive from Graaff Reinet. Google Maps said 119 kms and 2.25 hours but did not mention the potholed dirt road and almost complete lack of signposts! We … Continued
HELEN MARTINS (1897-1976) | THE OWL HOUSE | South Africa | Known to the residents of Nieu-Bethesda as 'Miss Helen' and thought of as a strange and rather outlandish character, she shied away from general contact, and began transforming her house and garden. Despite crippling arthritis, and the amputation of her small toes which left her unable to wear anything but slip-ons on her feet, Martins decorated her home with 'glass and light'.