Mountain of Sorrow, The Jammersberg Mountain indicates that you have arrived in Wepener in the Free State. Located at a tributary of the Caledon River, the Jammersbergspruit was the main water supply for farmers that trekked with the Voortrekkers to establish farms in the region.
The town was named after the Boer Voortrekker Louw Wepener that was killed in 1865 whilst storming Thaba Bosiu the stronghold of Moshoeshoe.
This was an epic land struggle dating back to 1865 in which the Voortrekker forces, had to maintain the rights of the spoils of war on the land. The school in Wepener is also named after Wepener.
Wepener was not done with conflict and the town was the site of a 17 day siege between the British and the Boers during the Anglo Boer War in which the British garrison, under the command of Colonel E. H. Dalgety, was nailed to Jammersdrift by the Boer forces under the command of General Christiaan de Wet. The British eventually got the upper hand after the 2000 British men received reinforcements.
The cultural history in Wepener will delight history tourists with the site that have survived pillaging.
The town of Wepener is sustained by a mixed use of agriculture and commercial business in the town with satellite industries to support the maintenance of the farmers.
The town is not big by city standards but the essential amenities are in place like doctors’ surgeries, chemists, a courthouse and more.
Tourism has become more of a mainstay to the region which is breathtaking.
Places to visit in Wepener are;
· Transgariep Highlands
· Caledon Nature reserve
· Jammerbergdrif Battlefields
· The Street Bridge
· Welbedacht Dam
· The Historical Town Hall, and
· The Dutch Reformed Church which was designed by a Welsh architect in 1875
The tourists that come to Wepener return for the quaintness on the town and the stunning nature in the region.