In 1954 Leighton Hulett and his wife Ann spotted an advertisement in the Farmers Weekly offering 273 morgen of ideal fishing land along the coast for £1750. Enormous dunes stretching about 3km from the coast, magnificent stretch of beach, the sheltered bay with its blue waters, rolling dunes and verdant growth - it was love at first sight.
The Hulett's returned to their home in Zululand, sold their property and moved down a month later. In order to carry their belongings across the huge sand dunes, the Hulett's arrived in an old ox wagon. Mr. Hulett set to work and a fishing camp with seven rondavel's, a bathing block and a kitchen was built for those who braved the crossing of the dunes to enjoy the area and fishing. As time went on a few of the regular visitors discussed the idea of having a place of their own and purchasing land to build their own cottages. This led to a small township consisting of 51 plots being laid out in 1956 with the name Cape St. Francis, having later changed in 1960 to Sea Vista.
Right from the early days, Leighton Hulett insisted on maintaining a certain conformity of style of building this being, thatch & white walls. This has resulted in a harmonious blending with the natural beauty of the environment. Marina Glades was the next major project. By doing a direct swap of a house and a plot, Mr. Hulett acquired 179 morgen with 2,8km of river frontage that lent itself to the development of a marina. The pumping and digging of the first canal became in 1967.
Within time, a small trading store opened, hotel, bottle store, tennis club... in 1974 there were 161 houses in the Village. With the start of Santereme, came a change in architectural style from white walls and black roof tops (such as thatch and then later tile) to Mediterranean type houses with terracotta tiled roofs an various muted earth tones for exterior walls. As the township grew, further facilities were added to enhance the development. Max Hulett built a very beautiful golf course as a private facility and only later did it become a golf club. An airfield to cope with fairly sizable aircraft was also laid out... and in 1977 the Kromme River bridge was built.
After a public referendum, the village name was officially changed from Sea Vista to St. Francis Bay. St. Francis Bay has become a destination of unparalleled charm to visitors from around the world.