Fauresmith is located 130km south west of Bloemfontein. The town, named after Rev Phillip Faure and Sir Harry Smith, is the second oldest town in the Free State.
With the settlement of whites in the region, there was a need for a church. They wanted a farm for this purpose. After much negotiation (without success) with the British Government, a temporary church was built on the farm "Sannahspoort" - currently Fauresmith. The church council later bought Sannahspoort for 14 000 rix-dollars (£1050). Immediately stands were sold to get the funds necessary to build a permanent church. An interesting condition of sale was that no spirits or other strong liquor may have been sold on any of the plots. The selling of plots was the biggest income of the church at the time. The current congregations of the surrounding towns of Philippolis, Trompsburg, Edenburg, Petrusburg, Koffiefontein, Luckhoff and a great deal of Jacobsdal were part of the congregation.
Two years before the founding of the town, the meddling of the British government in the affairs of the Free State led to the military clash between Boer and Briton at the Battle of Boomplaats, about 30km from the current Fauresmith.
On August 30, 1851, a meeting was held at Sannahspoort. The heading of the minutes, states "Fauresmith."
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.
Fauresmith is the only town in South Africa, and one of only three in the world, where the railway line runs down the centre of the main road.
The town is well known in equestrian circles for the annual National Equestrian Endurance Race, during which the horses and riders must complete a grueling 205km course during the three days of the event.
Winters are extremely cold with temperatures often reaching below freezing point.
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