Fauresmith, the second oldest town in the Free State, is an odd little town where the railway line runs down the main street. It is the only town in South Africa, and one of only three in the world, where the railroad joins the main traffic road, right on the edge of town, whereafter they converge through the centre of town, parting ways again on the other side of town! For obvious reasons, the town was quite the place through which to travel in the days when steam trains were popular.
The town is filled with quant historical features and attractions. Be sure to see the Church Tree, an old karee tree just north of the town hall, It was under this tree that that Rev. Faure and Rev. Robertson first served holy communion to 32 members of the Dutch Reformed church.
The town is well known in equestrian circles for the annual National Equestrian Endurance Race, during which the horses and riders must complete a gruelling 205 km course during the three days of the event.
Fauresmith accommodation includes a handful of B&B’s and Guesthouses for overnight stays.
Things to do and see
- Fauresmith Street Train
- Murderers Graves
- Church Tree
- Fauresmith City Hall
- Randjiesveld Hiking Trail
- Kalkfontein Dam Nature Reserve
- Gariep Dam Nature Reserve & Trails
- Kuilfontein Farm Stall, Springfontein
- Transgariep Museum, Philippolis
Fauresmith receives approximately 427 mm of rain annually with most of its annual rainfall during summer.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 15˚C and 30˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between -1˚C and 23˚C.
With the settlement of whites in the region, there was a need for a church and after much negotiation (without success) with the British Government, a temporary church was built on the farm "Sannahspoort" - currently Fauresmith. The Church subsequently bought the farm and immediately began selling stands to raise funds for a permanent Church.
On August 30, 1851, a meeting was held at Sannahspoort and the town became known as Fauresmith, named after the Reverend Philip E. Faure and Sir Harry Smith, the well loved Governor of the Cape.
After Bloemfontein, Fauresmith was the most important town in the Free State. The first House of Assembly had to choose between the two to determine which would be the capital of the Free State. The vote went to Bloemfontein with a two-vote majority.
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