Fauresmith

History and Overview of Fauresmith

Overview
Fauresmith is situated approximately 77 km northwest of Trompsburg. Access to the town is gained the R704 route between Koffiefontein and Jagersfontein.

Social and economic functions
Fauresmith/Ipopeng serves as a commercial and social service centre within the Kopanong Municipality. The main social and economic functions of the town is to serve as a (a) general agricultural service centre to surrounding farming areas, and (b) social functions such as residence, education and medical services.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Fauresmith is the second oldest town in the Free State. The name of the town is a combination of the surnames of the Rev Philip Faure, moderator of the Dutch Reformed Church who visited the region in 1848, and Sir Harry Smith, Governor of the Cape Colony. Fauresmith and Bloemfontein were regarded as the two most important towns in the then republic of the Orange Free State. The town lost out to Bloemfontein as the capital city by two votes.

Archaeology and palaeontology
Many implements and artifacts, including stone hand axes and cleavers, dating back to the Early and Middle Stone Ages (35 000 – 50 000 years ago), have been found in the district

HISTORY AND ARCHITECTURE

Battle of Boomplaats
The Battle of Boomplaats between British and Boer troops took place at Jagersfontein, approximately 30 km from Fauresmith. Fauresmith Jail: The jail in Westend Street, a declared National monument, was erected in 1881, and is constructed mostly of stone. Great Trek Monument: The Great Trek Monument is situated on the farm Samar, seven km out of town.

Historic graves
Graves dating back to the 1800s can be viewed in the town’s cemetery where there is also a Burgher Monument commemorating the Boers who lost their lives during the Anglo-Boer War. The graves of approximately 25 British soldiers also lie here but in a different part of the cemetery. The graves of three murderers, executed in public, lie in the open veld about one km outside the town.

Historic Buildings
The Town Hall is a beautiful old Victorian style building completed in 1930. The Dr WH Boshoff Homestead in Oos Burger Street is a typical example of sandstone architecture. The lovely old Standard Bank Building, in Voortrekker Street, was in use right up to 1998 and was then donated to the Dutch Reformed Church. The part of the building known as Die Blou Gallery (“The Blue Gallery”) is presently used as a church hall. The Post Office building was opened in 1905 and the Police Station and Magistrate’s Offices date back to 1936.

Historic Tree
The historic old karee tree (Rhus lancea) dubbed the “Church Tree”, provided the shade under which the town’s first communion service was held on 9 November 1848. Thirty-two members of the Dutch Reformed Congregation took part in this communion service. The tree is located in the centre of the town.

ATTRACTIONS

Railway Line
The most unusual feature of the town is the train which runs twice a day on tracks lying directly through the centre of town. The annual Stream Train Road Race, from Jagersfontein to Fauresmith, attracts hordes of spirited participants and avid supporters.
International Horse Endurance Race

Today, Fauresmith is renowned for the International Horse Endurance Race hosted by the town every July.