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History of Willowmore and Steytlerville

Willowmore is known as the “Gateway to the Baviaanskloof”  and was founded in 1864 by William Joseph Moore, a British settler who owned the farm “The Willows” on which the town was built. Moore and his brother-in-law, Frederick Lehmkuhl, donated land to the Dutch Reformed Church, and the town was officially established in 1874.  In 1884, Willowmore became a municipality.

The town grew rapidly in the late 19th century, and by the early 20th century it had a population of over 2,000 people. Willowmore was a major trading center for the surrounding area, and it also had a thriving Jewish community. However, the town’s growth was interrupted by the Second Boer War (1901-1902), during which it was attacked twice by Boer commandos.

After the war, Willowmore’s economy recovered and the town continued to grow. In the 1920s, the town was connected to the national railway network, and in the 1950s it was connected to the national electricity grid.

Today, Willowmore is a small town with a population of about 10,000 people. It is still a major trading center for the surrounding area, and it is also a popular tourist destination, due to its proximity to the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Steytlerville is situated on the right bank of the Groot River, where the river emerges from a valley in the Grootrivierberge at Noorspoort. The town was founded in 1876 on the farm Noorspoort and attained municipal status in 1891. It is named after Reverend Abraham Isaac Steytler (1840-1922), a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church also served as the first mayor of Steytlerville.

The history of Steytlerville can be traced back to the early 1800s, when the area was first settled by Trekboers, or nomadic farmers. The first permanent settlement was established in 1875, when the Dutch Reformed Church purchased the farm Noorspoort. The church established a mission station on the farm, and soon a small town began to grow around it.

The town grew rapidly in the late 19th century and was an important trading center for the surrounding farming community  

Steytlerville played an important role in the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). The town was garrisoned by British troops, and it was used as a base for operations against the Boer commandos. The town was also the site of a number of battles during the war.

After the war, Steytlerville continued to grow and prosper. The town became a major center for the mohair industry, and it also developed a number of other industries, including agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism.

Today, Steytlerville is a small but thriving town. It is home to a number of historical buildings, including the Dutch Reformed Church, the Lady de Waal Bridge, and the Steytlerville War Memorial. The town is also a popular destination for tourists, who come to experience the Karoo landscape and to visit the mohair farms in the area.

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