- Free State
Springfontein was established in 1904 on the farm Harleydale which was part of the farm Springfontein. The name Springfontein is Afrikaans for ‘jumping spring’ and the town took its name from the existence of an artesian well or ‘spring’.
The town attained municipal status in 1912 after a village management board was established. In the early part of the 20th century the Springfontein Creameries were one of the main employers.
The town used to be an important railway junction on the main line to Johannesburg being situated at the point where the Bloemfontein line converges with the East London and Port Elizabeth lines and where a westward line to other Free State towns commenced.
With a decrease in the number of trains and trucks the growth of Springfontein came to a rather abdrupt end and today it is driven by mixed farming and an outdoor lifestyle worth a stopover if only for the number of Anglo-Boer War historical sites, which include a concentration camp just east of the town. The concentration camp’s cemetery houses some 700 Boer and British victims’ graves.
De Bome, the house next to the concentration camp site was where Emily Hobhouse, the Cornish woman who campaigned for better conditions for Boer women during the Boer War, stayed during her visits to Springfontein and is also worth a visit
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