Bethulie

Bethulie lies on the northern bank of the Xhariep (former Hendrik Verwoerd) Dam, on the Xhariep (Orange) River. Originally a mission station belonging to the London Missionary Society, the site later became the property of the French Missionary Society. The honourable Reverend Jean Pellissier set up his headquarters here and named the mission Bethulie, meaning […]

Edenburg

Edenburg is situated 83 km south-west of Bloemfontein in the golden prairie country so typical of this area. Disagreement exists about the origin of the town’s name. Some believe that the small farming town was named after the Biblical paradise of “Eden” while others believe it is the Afrikaans translation of “Edinburgh” — the birthplace […]

Fauresmith

This little town, the second oldest in the Free State, lies some 130 km south-west of Bloemfontein. The town was named after the Reverend Phillip E Faure and Sir Harry Smith, one-time Governor of the Cape. Fauresmith and Bloemfontein were regarded as the two most important towns in the then republic of the Orange Free […]

Jacobsdal

This town near the Free State’s western border with the Northern Cape, was established in 1859 on the farm Kalkfontein belonging to a Mr CJ Jacobs. Although situated in a semi­desert area, four major rivers converge in the vicinity of the town namely the Modder, Riet, Vaal and Orange (Xhariep) rivers. The water from these […]

Jagersfontein

Jagersfontein, South Africa’s oldest mining town, was established in 1870 on the farm of that name. When a 50-carat diamond was found on the property the farm was declared public diggings. The Cape Government bought the original farmhouse for use as an office and established what must be one of the most unique gaols in […]

Koffiefontein

Koffiefontein is situated on the Riet River, 140 km south-west of Bloemfontein. The town owes its name to an incident that happened in 1870 when a transport rider dismounted at a spring in the area for a cup of coffee and picked up a diamond on the spot. His discovery led to a diamond rush […]

Luckhoff

This town was established on the farm Koffiekuil, in 1892, and named after the Dutch Reformed minister of Fauresmith, when the new congregation was later officially formed. It is situated on Road R48, 50 km south of Koffiefontein, in a primarily merino sheep farming district. Taubie Kushlick, the doyenne of South African theatre, was born […]

Petrusburg

This little town is situated on the N8 National Road exactly halfway between Bloemfontein and Kimberley, 80 km from each. The town was named after the original owner of the land upon which the village was established in 1892. Petrusburg derives its principal income from farming and is one of the largest potato producing areas […]

Philippolis

Philippolis was first established in 1823 as a mission station of the London Missionary Society for San/Khoi-Khoi (later to be known as Griquas) people. It is the oldest settlement in the Free State. Adam Kok, the famous Griqua leader, and his people settled in the area in 1826 and he was subsequently appointed protector of […]

Reddersburg

The name of the town means “Town of the Saviour” (the Saviour being Jesus Christ). The town was established by the Dutch Reformed Church in 1859 and since then its history has been closely linked to the Church. It was run along strict Christian principles. At one time even the use of profane language could […]