Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wepener (F 12)

Name: Wepener

Source Wikipedia

Wepener is a village in the Free State, South Africa, located on the border with Lesotho. The town is named after Louw Wepener, the leader of the Boers in their war with the Basotho chief Moshoeshoe I in 1865. It was founded in 1867 on the banks of Jammersbergspruit, a tributary of the Caledon River. Louw Wepener was killed in 1865 while trying to storm Moshoeshoe's stronghold of Thaba Bosiu.

Today the town is a commercial center for a 1,725 square km district where mixed farming is practised. Crops include cattle and sheep ranching, dairying, wheat and maize.

The district of Wepener was the scene of many battles, raids and skirmishes during the 19th century. Many graves, mostly without identification, still exist as reminders of the events in the valley of Jammerbergspruit during this stormy period.

Wepener was the southernmost of several settlements founded by the Free Staters in the "conquered territories" to prevent the Basotho from resettling the land taken from them during the war of 1865. The Dutch Reformed parish was established in 1870 and the town was granted its first management board in 1875.

During the Anglo-Boer War, a British garrison of 2000 men under Colonel E. H. Dalgety was attacked by General Christiaan de Wet at Jammersdrift on the Caledon River. The siege lasted 17 days, until reinforcements arrived on April 25, 1900 to end the battle in favour of the British.

There are two hotels in Wepener, The Wepener Hotel and the Lord Fraser's Guest House. Lord Fraser's was the summer residence of Lord Ian Fraser of Lonsdale. He was the chairman of the board of the once powerful retail business, Frasers, in Lesotho.

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Wepener is situated on the Lesotho border and is home to the Caledon Nature Reserve.

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