Smithfield is a small town situated in the Motheo and Xhariep region. Sir Harry Smith, Governor of the Cape Colony, founded this town in 1848 on a farm named Waterval. The town is situated in a rural farming district, and is the third oldest town in present-day Free State, (after Philippolis and Winburg).Smithfield is home to a thriving artistic community. This area is known for its wool production and cattle farming.
The town is tucked into a horseshoe of hills, some 132 km southeast of Bloemfontein along the N6 national road to East London, Eastern Cape. The Caledon River bounds Smithfield on the east and south. The district is drained by various tributaries of this river, the Vinkel and Wilgeboom Spruits being the largest. As the town lies 13 km west of the river, water has to be obtained from boreholes around the town dam.
Smithfield is a small settlement that offers history enthusiasts loads to see.
– Ou Grietjie is a muzzle-loading ship’s cannon and is named after Margaret “Grietjie” Findlay. She was the wife of gunner Robert Findlay.
– The Caledon River museum is located in the town. The Carmel and Beersheba missionary posts are situated nearby.
– The well-maintained local golf course dates back more than 100 years. Its facilities are open to guests, as are local tennis court and bowls club.
– The hills surrounding the town are considered well-suited to hiking, horse-riding and bird-watching in relative isolation. Local secondary roads and mountain trails are suitable for mountain biking.
– Blesbok and some Zebra are to be found in the open savanna. Game farms such as Letatsi is also found 25km outside of Smithfiled, which enhances the experiences of seeing wildlife up close in game drives and also being able to do hunting in the hunting season which is normally between June-August.
– The Wilton/Smithfield fossil classification system takes its name in part from the town. Scientist George Stow excavated a cave near Smithfield in 1877 and found tools from the Late Stone Age which he described in his book, Native races of South Africa. Bushman paintings are present in nearby hills.
Other things to do in Smithfield include:
– Basotho War Memorial
– Beersheba Farm
– Carmel (French Mission Station)
– General De Wet House
– Karoo House
– Market Square
|Country name||South Africa|