Rouxville, one of the smallest towns in the province is situated next to the N6 National Road between Johannesburg and East London. It was established on the farm Zuurbult in 1863 and named after the Reverend Pieter Roux of Smithfield who, for ten years, visited towns in the Eastern Free State to conduct church services. The town was completely deserted for two years during the Anglo-Boer War because Lord Roberts sent all the town’s inhabitants to a concentration camp established near the Kraai River. Today, this small town has a hotel and guest house and is well known for its hospitality, wool production and the breeding of Afrikaner cattle and saddle horses.
Adventure And Sport
Adventure and water sport: Horse riding, hiking and 4×4 routes have been laid out on private farms in the district and some of them also offer canoeing and angling. Contact the Municipality for more information.
Angling: The well-stocked Kalkoenkrans Dam is a popular local angling venue.
Jan Smuts Nature Trail: This trail offers hiking, canoeing and horse-riding routes through rough terrain, past aloe-covered cliffs, indigenous forests and the Xhariep (Orange) River. There are three circular routes to follow: a 6 km, 22 km and 31 km route. All start and end at a beautifully restored 1867 farmhouse, some 25 km south of Rouxville.
Archaeology And Palaeontology
San Rock Art: San etchings and paintings can be viewed on various farms (Koesberg, Houtberg, Elandsberg, Diepkloof and Sterkstroom) in the district.
Entertainment And Shopping
Guest Farms: Enjoy the generosity and hospitality of the people on the three guest farms (Zeekoeigat, Badplaas and Beestekraal), where visitors may enjoy a truly unique Free State “farm” experience.
History And Architecture
Dutch Reformed Church: The historic Dutch Reformed Church has an impressive pulpit (designed by Anton Anreith) and organ – the latter is one of only three of its kind in the country and was shipped in from overseas and carted to the town by ox wagon. The church has been declared a National monument and is the oldest church north of the Xhariep (Orange River) that is still in use.
Grave of Johanna Van der Merwe: Johanna van der Merwe was a Voortrekker heroine, who survived 22 assegai (light spear) wounds by climbing into a tree and feigning death, during an attack by Zulu warriors. One of the South African Navy’s submarines was named after her.
Great Trek Burger Monument: Rouxville also has a monument dedicated to the “Voortrekkers”, men and women who risked their lives to try and find a new homeland in the inhospitable interior of the country.
Historic Buildings: There are two very old sandstone buildings in the town that remind us of the architecture and building styles of the past. One was used by a farmer on an outlying farm as a “town” home (home away from home) and the other as a shop in bygone days. On the farm Klipplaatsdrift the ruins of the original hartbeeshuisie (wattle-and-daub homestead) of the first resident who settled in this area can be seen.
Historic graves: The graves of 40 Voortrekker children who died of diphtheria during the Great Trek and had to be buried on the spot can be seen on the farm Ramases. The graves of two of the town’s earliest residents, a Mr and Mrs Fouche, who lived in the area even before the Great Trek took place, are located on a farm approximately 20 km from town.