St James, which stretches only 1.5 km, is a suburb which is steeped in history. Local historian Michael Walker, has published a pamphlet with the history of the historic homes between Muizenberg in St James, many of which still exist today and have belonged to the same families for generations.
Some of the houses were already in existence in 1883, and most had thatched rooves and were built of stone, plaster and limestone. One of these is St James Cottage, built circa 1853. In the Anglo-Boer war, Abraham Auret, the owner of the cottage, hid prisoners of war in the loft of his barn and later helped them to escape across the bay.
Colourful bathing boxes are the trademark of St James and the start of grand stone houses that line the road to Muizenberg. The homes reflect a wealthy colonial past and despite a slight fading in the grandeur of its heyday it is easy to see why this section was called “Millionaire’s Mile”.
St James is a retreat from cosmopolitan living, where residents walk along the oceans edge on a daily basis, they greet each other, they swim in the tidal pool and play tennis. The beach itself is not all that big but the small size adds to the charm and there are some rockpools on either side to explore. St James is a vacation spot all year round, irrespective of vacationers!