The town was founded in 1867 on the banks of Jammersbergspruit,
a tributary of the Caledon River, and named for Louw Wepener who
was killed in 1865 while trying to storm Moshweshwe's stronghold
of Thaba-Bosiu in the Free State's second war against the Basotho.
Wepener was the southern most of several settlements founded by
the Free Stater's in the `conquered territories' to prevent the
Basotho from resettling the land taken from them during the war
The Dutch Reformed parish was established in 1870 and the town
was granted its first management board in 1875.
Today the town is a commercial centre for a 1 725 square km district
where mixed farming is practised (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, are sad reminders of the events in the valley of
Jammerbergspruit during this stormy period.
During the Anglo-Boer War a British garrison of 2000 men under
Col EH Dalgety was attacked by General Christiaan de Wet at Jammersdrift
on the Caledon River.
The siege lasted 17 days - until reinforcements arrived on 25 April
1900 to end the battle in favour of the British.
Caledon Nature Reserve
Fishing is the main attraction. The river supports barbel, mudfish,
yellowfish and carp. Canoeists and hikers are welcome.
Caledon River Bridge
Sturdy sandstone bridge, declared a national monument.
A historical sandstone building, built in 1927.
Dutch Reformed Church
A sandstone edifice built in 1882, and widely-know for its grandeur.
The site of many Briton-Boer clashes, with many British graves in
Louw Wepener Memorial
A bronze bust, by acclaimed sculptor Coert Steynberg, unveiled on
the 100-year anniversary of Wepener's death.
San Rock Artwork
On the Ventershoek farm.
Van Rooyens' Gate Border Post
The gateway to Lesotho in 7km away.