- Free State
For many years, Odendaalsrus was one of the most isolated towns in the Free State.
Founded in 1899 as a church centre, it was named after Jesaja Odendaal, who owned the farm on which it was established.
All around the town stretched the flat, featureless sandveld, and there was an almost impassable track meandering off to a railway whistle-stop 34 kilometers away.
Vehicles travelling along this track were frequently bogged down and a common sight was a wagon up to its axels in soft sand. By 1946 Odendaalsrus had grown into a town of 40 houses, 3 shops and a hotel.
Then came a golden explosion as in that same year a diamond drill probed down and produced from the Geduld borehole a core revealing such a treasure of gold that within days a flood of fortune-seekers descended on Odendaalsrus and its name featured in newspaper headlines all over the world.
The secretary of the village management board, who eked out a monthly salary of 2 pounds by playing a gramophone in the local pub, was deluged with thousands of letters and telegrams from overseas investors seeking advice. Some of them addressed their letters to the 'Lord Mayor of Odendaalsrus'.
Today, Odendaalsrus is a substantial, modern town and the centre for consolidated mines which has four shafts working in two rich mining areas.
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