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The land on which the centre stands was originally purchased by David Hunter, a Glasgow business man who became a missionary and went on to spend his working life at Lovedale Mission in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa. He married Jessie (nee McGregor) while still in Scotland and she joined him in 1901. Their first child, William, was born in 1906 and their second, Monica in 1908. It was in 1910 that the purchase of the property was made and called by the family; Hunterstoun or Hunter's town.
Monica Hunter Wilson (1908 - 1982), renowned for her pioneering work in anthropology, lived and worked in the house and library which now form the main part of the Centre.
The Wilson family approached the university of Fort Hare with the suggestion that the house and other building, including Monica's library, be used as a centre for creativity, writing and conferences. In 2008 a centenary conference to commemorate the life and work of Monica Hunter Wilson was held at the Centre and in the same year the property was handed over to the university.